Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bata Shoe Museum Receives His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Footwear

TORONTO, October 27, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Bata Shoe Museum is very excited to announce the recent donation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's sandals to the Museum. Presented by Mr. Lobsang Nyendak, the well-worn Bata manufactured rubber sandals are currently on view in a special exhibition which also features examples of Tibetan footwear from the Museum's collection. The presentation coincided with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's three day trip to Toronto.

"His Holiness the X1V Dalai Lama of Tibet is happy to donate his long worn Bata slippers to the Bata Shoe Museum." remarked Mr. Nyendak. Museum Director Emanuele Lepri accepted the donation on behalf of Sonja Bata, Founding Chairman of the Bata Shoe Museum. Said Mr. Lepri, "In their simplicity, the slippers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are a very inspiring gift for our Museum. This prestigious addition to our collection is a wonderful opportunity to engage our visitors, Torontonians and tourists alike, with the values and the messages promoted by one of the most prominent figures of our current global society."

Born Lhamo Dhondup on 6 July 1935 to a farming family at the hamlet of Takster in northeastern Tibet, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. Often describing himself as a "simple Buddhist monk", he communicates his messages of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion wherever he travels.

The Bata Shoe Museum's Tibetan collection of footwear was partly realized through field trips. Boots have been a traditional aspect of Tibetan dress for centuries and were worn to provide protection and warmth. Tibetan boots typically feature thick, strong soles covered with yak leather and high embroidered felt shafts held in place by colourful woven boot straps. Over the centuries, status often was reflected through footwear and ranged from the rhelzom worn by Lamas, Noblemen and Guru incarnates to the more popular sombha.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's donated footwear, as well as the special Tibetan exhibition will be on view until December 31, 2010.

About the Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum is dedicated to uncovering the role of footwear in the social and cultural life of humanity. The Museum's growing international collection of over 13,000 objects touches on 4,500 years of history. A varied programme of events and exhibitions lets visitors discover the stories behind footwear from many lands and cultures. Further information is available at

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