Lady Gaga had what could be considered the chance of a lifetime as she was granted the opportunity to interview the Dalai Lama. On Sunday, she sat down with the world renowned wise man to discuss compassion, and how best to meet the needs of a world in pain. Gaga collected questions from her social media. She sorted them and selected questions she deemed appropriate to ask the great wise man.
Dalai Lama was asked to speak at the 84th Annual Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis. The iconic Lady was allowed 20 minutes to speak with the visiting 81-year-old Tibetan exile, who escaped his country decades ago due to religious persecution.
Lady Gaga’s interview and a public question and answer period are shown in the videos below.
The Dalai Lama spoke to the Conference of Mayors, praising the U.S., according to the Times Of India. His topic was “Compassion as a Pillar of World Peace.”
“It [US] is a country known for technological innovation. Your principles are freedom, democracy, and liberty, and these qualities are related to warm-heartedness, respect for others and a concern for others’ well-being.”
Lady Gaga, like most people, considers the Dalai Lama a source of wisdom and inspiration. He is widely regarded as a symbol of compassion and gentleness the world over. Yet this modern-day prophet seems to be public enemy number one in China.
Lady Gaga has been banned from China yet again. She was banned for three years following the release of “Born This Way,” in 2011. This time, she’s in trouble for speaking with what China considers a dangerous separatist seeking independence for Tibet.
Dalai Lama is regarded as very dangerous by the Chinese Government. Hong Lei, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, explained on Monday his country’s position in this quote from the Hollywood Reporter.
“We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colors and nature. The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence.”
Lady Gaga has subsequently been banned totally from China, according to the Consequence Of Sound. Even the mention of her name is forbidden. She not only cannot enter mainland China, but her music will be removed and forbidden, as well.
The Dalai Lama is hated by China, due to their Communist Party’s opposition to any form of religion. All types of religion are persecuted under the regime. In most parts of China, religion has either been routed out or gone underground, but Tibet is unbreakable, according to FreeTibet.org.
“For China, the greatest religious threat it faces is the almost universal devotion felt by Tibetans for the Dalai Lama. His exile from Tibet remains one of Tibetans’ deepest grievances under Chinese rule. Tibetan writers, singers, and protesters frequently call for his return – and are punished for it… His pictures and teachings are banned and Tibetans face harsh punishments for being found in possession of them. In January 2014 the Tibetan monk Thardhod Gyaltsen was sentenced to 18 years in prison after police found him storing pictures and recordings of the Dalai Lama during a raid on his monastery in 2013.”
Lady Gaga has certainly stumbled into something she can hardly back away from. It is a matter of two countries holding different principles and values. She simply cannot tour in China, and will lose her music market there. Fans in China are reportedly very disappointed, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Some are angry with her. One social media user, George Lee, posted the now widely shared comment.
“She did not consider her Chinese fans!”
He Shi You Lateen then commented alluding to a boycott of Gaga’s brands.
“Let’s boycott Coach and all the other brands that she advertises.”
Lady Gaga does represent quite a few American brands, but these fans do not understand the issue of divergent points of view. It seems the Chinese government and people do not comprehend America’s culture of freedom of religion, any more than Americans can relate to their reactions toward religion.
The Dalai Lama’s future remains uncertain, though the current one is living safely in India when he isn’t traveling all over the world. His successor, however, is not so fortunate. A 15th spiritual leader had been selected, but Free Tibet alleges that in 1995 the Chinese government abducted the then-6-year-old boy who has not been seen since. They plan to place their own chosen substitute instead, but Tibet will never recognize any replacement, according to Free Tibet. Is this the extent to which China feels it must interfere with religion?
Lady Gaga’s Chinese fans are disappointed but how could they expect Gaga to shun Dalai Lama, and choose the position of the Chinese government to stamp out Tibet’s religious beliefs instead?
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla and Christopher Polk/Getty Images]