Showing posts from December, 2008

A Traditional Wedding in Nepal

Saturday morning, at Buddhanilkantha next to the 5m-long Sleeping Vishnu statue in a pond, under a colorful tent, a traditional Nepali wedding took place between my English friend from the summer course and his Nepali sweetheart. We were so excited that we would be invited to witness a traditional wedding ceremony, and I personally was joyful I was finally wearing my sari, which until then had been waiting two and a half years in my closet to be worn (Putting on a sari is hard work!). The mother of the bride welcomed us and we were seated in front of a smoky fire pit along with much burning of incense. The pit was totally encircled by orange flower garlands, and loads of trays with both small and large items that were part of the rituals…plenty of green leafed bowls, filled with different kinds of substances, colored powders, rice, oils, yogurt, flower petals, etc. were completing the altar scene.

In contrast with the weddings in the West, the bride wore a red sari, and was astound…

Ease of Scholarship at RYI

Speaking from my personal perspective, the academic routine of a third-year student of 'Buddhist Studies with Himalayan Language' here in Kathmandu is greatly influenced by the papers that have to be written for the various courses that one is taking. As every subject is related to a classical Buddhist text, the research that has to be undertaken in order to exhaust the profound meanings of the texts, can completely be done on the basis of original Tibetan sources, like explanatory commentaries.

The Institute was recently kindly gifted a digital collection of several thousand classical Tibetan texts by the renowned scholar Gene Smith. Since the texts were scanned and saved on a hard drive, students are now able to conveniently access an overwhelming digital library through an internal network. Time-taking research in several monasteries' libraries can thus be avoided since the new medium includes collections of various Buddhist sects and lineages, all systematically ordered…