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From: China Tibet Online 2012-03-12 13:22:00
by: Mirenda Wu
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Lama embraces modernity, promotes tradition

Photo shows Yongzhong Tenzin in the China Advanced Buddhism College for Tibetan Language. [Photo/China Tibet Online]

With a camera in his hand, a lama in crimson robe expertly pushed the shutter button, half-crouched, to freeze every excited moment of a basketball game played by his fellow monks in Beijing.

It seemed the big Nikon DSLR camera, which being the very pronoun of fashion, looked somewhat incongruous with his crimson cloak.

The lama is Yongzhong Tenzin, a student of the China Advanced Buddhism College for Tibetan Language, who comes from remote Changtang grassland in northern Tibet.

In 1993 when he was 15, he entered the Longga Monastery in Nangqu Prefecture.

After his mentor passed away, Yongzhong went to Sichuan, spending eight years in the Nangshig Monastery in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in studying Buddhist scripture debate in order to obtain the Gexi degree, the highest degree of Tibetan Buddhism which is equivalent to the doctoral degree in theology. 

Yongzhong Tenzin surfs the Internet in his dormitory in Chamdo Prefecture of Tibet with other monks. [Photo/China Tibet Online]

"To become an excellent lama is my dream so I dropped out of school and managed to enter the monastery although I was always among the best in class," the 34-year-old lama told China Tibet Online Sunday in Mandarin with a bit Tibetan accent.

In 2010, Yongzhong became a student of the China Advanced Buddhism College for Tibetan Language with good scores.

Unlike his mentor who spent almost all his life in the small monastery in  Nagqu, Yongzhong likes traveling around during his summer and winter vocations. 

In the past few years, he has visited Shenzhen, Shanghai, Heilongjiang and other inland regions.

"I often travel around with my partner-the camera. It is a gift from a friend I met in Shanghai," Yongzhong said while showing his photos. 

"My mom said it was better to have a closed-door meditation like my mentor did rather than spending time traveling around. But I think it was worthwhile because I can learn more and make friends with different people," the lama said, playing with the beads in his hand.

[editor : ]
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