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Colorado State University

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


The Buddhist practices of the Tibetan youth between eighteen and thirty years old living and studying in McleodGanj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India, and the nearby areas were examined through a series of 20 interviews and literature research. This research was inspired by previous field work done in Leh, Ladakh, India, carried out by the author, where the youth from Buddhist families rejected ritual in favor of a purely philosophical practice. It was found in Dharamsala that the definition of Buddhism given by the youth was different than the traditional one and that given by members of a monastic institution. Rather than a philosophical definition, the youth acknowledged the philosophy and furthermore believe that being Buddhist is trying to implement the core beliefs of love, kindness, and compassion in their everyday life. Ritual to them was necessary, however they tended to rarely take part, or in the case of those who are in college, only take part consistently when they were living with their parents. The study of Buddhism is stymied by the knowledge of Dharma language among the youth and furthermore it is not being taught to them in their schools, even when those schools are run by Tibetans. This potentially leads to the lack of philosophical discussion among lay Tibetans in Dharamsala.


Anthropology | Asian Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | Liturgy and Worship | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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