Today’s activities were a relaxing, fun “last hora” in Dharamsala. We experienced one last piece of Tibetan culture through our morning cooking class, in which we learned to make “momos,” or Tibetan dumplings. Momos differ from the Chinese dumpling mainly in the way they are wrapped and in the filling, which, in Tibet, often includes yak meat. However, in the absence of Tibetan nomadic yak herds, we made do with many other tasty ingredients, making both vegetable and sweat momos. Our cooking teachers taught us how to make the momos from start to finish, from formulating the filling to rolling the dough of the wrappers to wrapping the momos and steaming them.
Stomachs fueled, we began our free afternoon. Many of us took the opportunity to buy all kinds of Tibetan goods, like Tibetan singing bowls, chupas (traditional Tibetan robes), Tibetan prayer beads, thangka (Tibetan tapestries), and much more. Others enjoyed a relaxing afternoon off the wet shopping streets of Dharamsala, playing cards in local coffee shops.
After free time, we met up for an afternoon yoga class with a local Indian yoga teacher. Since many of us were relatively inexperienced in yoga, we enjoyed getting to know this important part of Indian culture. Our yoga teacher was quite impressive – many of us were shocked at how many different formations into which he was able to contort his body!
P.S. Tibetan butter tea is not a hit with the students (see pic) 😛