Musical monks fly in to see children at Leeds school

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A LEEDS school welcomed a group of visitors who had travelled thousands of miles to see them.

A group of eight Tibetan monks called at Green Meadows Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre, in Guiseley.

Tibetan monks visit Green Meadows SILC. picture James Hardisty,

Tibetan monks visit Green Meadows SILC. picture James Hardisty,

The monks spent yesterday afternoon meeting around 35 pupils, staff and parents as apart of their Power of Compassion Tour.

Kerrie Reynolds, administrator at Green Meadows School, said: “The pupils really enjoyed their unusual performance. They played musical instruments which included big horns. We watched while they prayed and chanted and everyone enjoyed their traditional prayers.”

The monks had a translator with them to help communicate and explain their culture.

Since 1959 and the Dalai Lama’s enforced exile from Tibet, Tibetans have been working to preserve their unique culture in exile. Many now live in India.

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The monks travel to various places across Europe to make sure that their culture will not disappear by sharing their knowledge and skills with people.

In the old days, it was normal for at least one son of each family to be sent to a monastery near his home village, as it was the only place where he could get an education. Other sons would stay behind to support the family by working in the fields. Girls would also join convents. Nowadays in exile in India it is less routine, and children make their own choice about whether or not to join a monastery or nunnery.

The monks on tour this year all joined their monastery at around 10 or 11 years of age. They joined because they wanted to – not because someone persuaded them.

Ms Reynolds said the musical instruments delighted the children, who have a wide range of special needs.

The monks also called at Pennyfields North West SILC in Meanwood.

Raymond Manners.

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