Mayor to Visit Dalai Lama in May; Residents Can Sign Tibetan Prayer Flags for Spiritual Leader on Sunday

April 27, 2017

Mayor Nancy McFarlane will be traveling to India next month to visit the Dalai Lama --- and she wants to take Raleigh residents with her, at least spiritually.

The mayor will be presenting His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama with Tibetan prayer flags. Residents are invited to come out to Dix Park Sunday to write a prayer on the flag and sign it. The prayer flag will also serve as an invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit Raleigh.

The “prayer flag making festival for the Dalai Lama” will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the top of Dix Park’s Grove that overlooks the Capital City. Signs will be posted in the park directing visitors to the event.

The idea of making a Raleigh prayer flag for the Dalai Lama came from a local team organized by Vansana Nolintha of Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar and Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko, both of Raleigh Denim. The team was inspired by Tibetan prayer flags. “You are invited to join us to write your prayer … in whatever way that is meaningful for you to express to His Holiness your hopes, concerns and wishes,” the group said.

Mayor McFarlane and a group of citizens formed the Dalai Lama Initiative Committee in 2016 with the goal of bringing one of the world’s most recognizable spiritual leaders to Raleigh. The committee’s comprehensive proposal, centered on theme of “Compassion for all Sentient Beings,” was well received by His Holiness’ representatives. As a result, the Dalai Lama invited the mayor and other committee members to have a private audience with him at his headquarters in Dharamsala, India, the second week in May. The purpose of the gathering is “to further explore a possible visit” to Raleigh by the Dalai Lama.

{NOTE FOR THE MEDIA: Mayor Nancy McFarlane will be available for interviews about her trip to visit the Dalai Lama beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Grove in Dix Park. See map for directions: Dix Park Access and Parking Map}