The Dalai Lama has issued an apology regarding an interaction in February that has since gone viral on social media with criticism, saying he "regrets the incident."
In the video, the 87-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader can be seen interacting with a young boy during an event for the M3M Foundation in Dharamsala, India.
The boy asks the Dalai Lama if he can give him a hug. After the boy walks up, the spiritual leader asks the boy to kiss him on the cheek, saying "first here." He then proceeds to say, "then I think finally here, also" as he pulls the boy's chin closer and kisses him on the mouth. The boy quickly pulls his head back before the Dalai Lama pulls his chin back for a forehead embrace. The audience applauds and the spiritual leader laughs before telling the boy, "and suck my tongue."
The Dalai Lama sticks out his tongue and moves his head closer to the boy, while laughter is heard in the background. The video shows the young boy and the spiritual leader touching foreheads again.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) April 10, 2023
A statement on the Dalai Lama's website and on social media said, "His Holiness wishes to apologize to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused."
The statement went on to say "His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident."
This story was originally published on Scrippsnews.com