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Lonely Monks | by Matt Murf
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Lonely Monks

I took this picture at the Drepung Monastary just outside Lhasa.

A bit of background makes the image all the more interesting..


In Tibet, photographic images of the Dalai Lama are prohibited. As a Tibetan - you can get into serious trouble by owning or distributing these images.


This can also get the unsuspecting traveller into some bother, and as a result, the 'Tibet' Lonely Planet guidebook has a line drawing of him near the beginning of the book (I assume that these are allowed). The 'India' Lonely Planet guide does have a photo of the DL therein - so watch out at the border!


Anyway ... we met these chatty and friendly monks at the wonderful Drepung Monastery. They had never seen an image, photographic, or otherwise - of the Dalai Lama, and we showed them the drawing in our book.


Look at the expression on that young monk's face. It was a wonderful moment to capture.

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Taken on December 1, 2006