Ocean of compassion sweeps Russia’s Buddhist republic

From Russia Today

The Russian republic of Kalmykia – the only Buddhist region in Europe – has played host to a unique music festival featuring rock bands, folk singers… and monks.

If you put together Buddhism, a city in the Russian steppes, and folk rock music, what would it sound like?

Elista, the capital of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, has played host to a music festival with a difference.

“Ocean of Compassion” is an ethno-rock festival celebrating the Buddhist virtues of warmth and kindness, which summed up the atmosphere as crowds stayed throughout the day and into the night.

The festival also celebrates 400 years since the southern steppe-dwelling Kalmyk people pledged allegiance to Russia.

Today they want to export Kalmykia’s unique character abroad.

“It’s very important for Elista and Kalmykia to bring the culture of Kalmykia to the world,” says Kito Rodriguez, Lhasa Spirits bass guitarist.

Kalmykia is unique in being the only Buddhist region in Europe. It has the largest Buddhist temple in the continent, but as the Lama of Kalmykia believes, it is about accepting all faiths.

“Every religion teaches love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and so on. I think it is important to gather people and not just play good music, listen to good music and leave. We also want to propagate something that is valuable to every human being, which is compassion,” says Telo Kulku Rinpoche, Lama of Kalmykia.

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