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Location: Dharamsala

During our third day in Dharamsala, we started out the day by spending time with our learning partners. Since it was National Incense Day, many of us went with our partners to the local temple to burn incense for good luck. We were all very interested in understanding the holiday and its significance to the Tibetan people, so we all learned a lot about Tibetan culture. After parting with our partners at a restaurant called Common Ground for lunch, we learned that because of the holiday, we would not be meeting with the Tibetan medical students. Instead, we took a short walk to a cinema house to watch a documentary called “Tibet: Murder in the Snow.” The documentary reported on the brutal treatment of Tibetans by the Chinese military and the dangers that escapees face when fleeing. It was very eye opening to see unedited footage of the brutality, and this helped us to better understand the hardships that Tibetan refugees faced. After the documentary ended, we returned to our hotel for lessons in the Tibetan language, and later attended a traditional Indian yoga class near where we are staying. Afterwards, we ate a delicious Korean dinner and held a forum in which we discussed all manner of sophisticated topics, from “are fear tactics the most effective means of controlling a nation,” to controversial decisions made by the United States’ government, to recognizing and comprehending the differences of political ideologies, to grasping a better understanding of different religions. We ended the night with group bonding activities and a good night’s sleep.