His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday on July 6th was celebrated by Tibetans all over the world with great excitement and prayers for his good health and long life.
At Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute, home to over 230 nuns, the day started at 6 am with everyone — the nuns, teachers and all the staff — seated in the prayer hall at 6 for tsok and offerings of khataks (prayer scarves) to His Holiness.
At 7 am they had sangsol (incense offering) after which breakfast was served in the nuns’ dining hall.
After this everyone enjoyed the morning playing outdoor games such as a relay race, a tug-of-war between different groups of nuns, staff, and teachers, a game musical chairs, a sack race and other competitions and games such as the bursting of a balloon tied on another person’s ankle.
For lunch a beautiful vegetarian meal was served. This was then followed by a open quiz competition in philosophy, general knowledge, English and Tibetan. The person with the correct answer was given a surprise gift.
All around the courtyard area we could see nuns and staff enjoying games such as badminton, cricket, and football.
Dinner which was served at 7pm and the winner of the annual flower competition, held on July 2nd, was called and given her prize. On July 2nd, Universal Prayer Day, the old debate courtyard at the nunnery was filled with beautiful potted flowers placed in-front of portraits of His Holiness. Scoring for the competition was done by the teachers.
After dinner everyone gathered together and the nuns showcased little dramas that they had prepared for the occasion and then the floor was open to anyone to show their talent.