After a video emerged showing the 87-year-old Dalai Lama kissing a child on the lips before asking him to suck his tongue when he appeared at a religious event in northern India, the spiritual leader has since apologized for the actions.
The Dalai Lama’s apology comes after a video of the exchange, which took place during an event in the hillside city of Dharamshala in February, went viral on social media, with many users criticizing and bashing the Dalai Lama’s actions.
The office of the Dalai Lama issued a statement Monday stating that he “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.”
In the video, the young boy is seen asking the spiritual leader, “Can I hug you?” he then directs the boy to where he was seated and points to his cheek and says, “First here,” causing the boy to hug and kiss him.
The Dalai Lama then points to his lips and says, “Then I think finally here also.” After pulling the boy’s chin, he kisses him and tells the child, “Suck my tongue,” while sticking out his tongue.
See the video below: