During his recent trip to the United States, His Holiness the Dalai Lama repeated, to a gathering in Miami, his well known love and admiration for former President George W. Bush. His Holiness said that he found President Bush a very straightforward person and that they struck a personal rapport. He, however, explained that he did not agree with some of the President’s policies.
His Holiness has met President Bush a couple of times. One photo of such a meeting is given below.
One striking aspect of this photo is the footwear of the Dalai Lama. It is a simple pair of flip flops or slippers, as they are known in the Indian subcontinent. These flip flops are made by the Bata shoe company.
Recently, a pair of such slippers worn by His Holiness was donated to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. The presentation, the Museum said in a press statement, coincided with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s three day trip to Toronto. The Museum has now put the “well-worn Bata manufactured rubber sandals” on a special exhibition.
The press statement quotes Representative Lobsang Nyandak, Representative of His Holiness for the Americas as saying, “His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet is happy to donate his long worn Bata slippers to the Bata Shoe Museum.”
Museum Director Emanuele Lepri says, “In their simplicity, the slippers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are a very inspiring gift for our Museum. This prestigious addition to our collection is a wonderful opportunity to engage our visitors, Torontonians and tourists alike, with the values and the messages promoted by one of the most prominent figures of our current global society.”
You can see here an image of the pair of flip flops as well as some Tibetan shoes that are on display at the Bata Shoe Museum.