As images of the devastation in Nepal become more prevalent in the wake of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, one brightly-coloured symbol flies in stark contrast to the rubble: Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags.
According to a 2011 census, approximately 2.4 million people identify as Buddhist in Nepal. Despite only being about a tenth of the country’s population, the community has had an outsized impact on the world’s vision of Nepal, thanks in part to the prevalence of prayer flags at the base camp of Annapurna and Mount Everest, as many of the mountaining climbers' guides are Buddhist.
Despite their ubiquity, they remain somewhat of a mystery to many who are not as familiar with Buddhism.
“The parts of Buddhism that everyone knows about are mediation and karma, and trying to reach nirvana… through good karma,” says Todd Lewis, professor of world religions at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.
“What is less known are the Buddhist words that were taught by [Buddha] to make the worldRead More »from Prayer flags a symbol of faith amidst Nepal earthquake's destruction