National Geographic : 1955 Jul
48 Fluttering Silk Scarves Say Hello as Formally as a Calling Card In all classes of Tibetan society these white khatas serve as ceremonial tokens of greeting. Here an abbot along the Dalai Lama's route presents his respects to a brocaded emissary from the ruler's household. The Dalai Lama had received me several times at his monastic retreat, but there was no chance to say farewell (pages 42 and 44). Riding south, followed by servants, luggage, and horses, I envisioned the changes that were to take place in Tibet, the roads to be carved in its face, the rumbling trucks that were to roll in Lhasa. I felt certain that the Dalai Lama would return to the holy city within a few months. He did so, still the nominal ruler but a deity without true secular power. I hoped that Tibet's patron god, through the extraordinary young man I had humbly tutored, would protect the land of lamas. There were no barriers, guards, or customs inspectors at Tibet's borders. As I stepped into Sikkim, I recalled an old prophecy that the 13th Dalai Lama would be the last of the line. And my 15-year-old friend, newly in vested as the 14th Dalai Lama, had not en joyed a day of independent, untroubled rule. But I also recall his hopeful words at our final lesson: "Go now, Henrig. We'll meet again." The full story of Heinrich Harrer's dramatic jour ney across Tibet and his life in Lhasa is told in his best-selling Seven Years in Tibet, published in the United States by E. P . Dutton & Co., New York, and in England by Rupert Hart-Davis, Ltd., London.