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People Out There: Lama Stenzing from Ringdum Gonpa

  This one is from long before I had started tlot (now tlow) as a backpacking company. On my month-long trip to Ladakh and Zanskar Valley, while I was in the Ringdum Gonpa in Suru Valley, I met an old monk in the Gonpa named Lama Stenzing.

I had seen him sitting in the corner and staring at the wall from the time I entered. What had caught my eye about him, was the fact that he was the only lama I had come across, on all my travels till that date who was dressed in his complete attire.

So I went up to him and said “Julley” (Tibetan for hello) he smiled and replied the same. He asked me from where I was and how I liked his village. He even asked, how my journey was so far on the back-breaking roads.

As we got talking, I asked him why he was all dressed up today. He told me, that this is how he has been dressing ever since became a monk some 65 years ago. He said that he liked being well dressed and the heat even in summers did not bother him much.

We went on to talk about many things, but one thing that we spoke about that I still remember to this day, is our talk on what he felt about global warming.

He called it the ‘Third World War’. I was very surprised after he said that. I asked him to elaborate. He went on to tell me, that he has lived in the valley all his life and has been a monk for most of it. He went on to say that over the last eight decades he has seen Ringdum go from around 40 to about 15 glaciers and 10 months of winter to four.

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He said, it was a world war since every country is doing their part to destroy Mother Nature. In his words, “It was the Nature versus 196 odd countries”.

Drop a comment and let us know if you agree with Lama Stenzing.


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