If all goes to plan, Madame Mayor will deliver Raleigh's greetings to His Holiness in mid-May, along with an invitation.
That is, Mayor Nancy McFarlane has booked a trip to India, at her expense, and will bring the Dalai Lama the many dozens of prayer flags that people inscribed Sunday.
A low-key afternoon event at the budding Oak City nexus of Dix Park was organized by McFarlane (courting the be-here-now vote in this fall's election?), along with Raleigh Denim founders Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko and Bida Manda co-owner Vansana Nolintha. "We really do hope that he will come and visit us," said McFarlane, who has invited the Dalai Lama for a 2018 visit.
The trip to Dharamsala won't be the first meeting for McFarlane, who encountered the Dalai Lama at an event in Kentucky. Protocol required that she not address him but only stand nearby and await a reaction.
"All of a sudden he grabbed my hand and said, 'Let's get a picture,'" she recalled.
Last year, a Raleigh group called the Dalai Lama Initiative Committee, including McFarlane, came together to bring the leader of the world's Tibetan Buddhists to town. Initial response to the invitation was positive, according to the city's press office.
This article appeared in print with the headline "+THE MAYOR & THE DALAI LAMA."