Tuesday, 27 March 2012

News Brief: Tibetan Buddhist looks forward to Taichung snacks

When the 88-year-old Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche (堪布卡塔仁波切) arrives in Taiwan this week to teach Tibetan Buddhism, his interpreter will be a female lama Lodro Lhamo, formerly known to her Taichung family as Li Pei-guang (李佩光). When asked what she was looking forward to on her first visit to her homeland for many years, Li said what she missed most about Taiwan was its xiao-chi (小吃), the Central News Agency reports today (full Chinese-language article here).

Literally meaning “small eats”, the term xiaochi covers anything from snacks to light meals, including just about everything sold at night markets. Li, who originally followed the teaching of Taiwan’s Master Sheng-yen (聖嚴法師) before becoming a monastic of the esoteric Tibetan tradition, said she particularly looked forward to eating the “sun cakes” (太陽餅) of her native city.

Translation © Jiyue Publications 2012


  1. i think most sun cakes contain animal fat (like lard)?! do you know if those cakes are acceptable for the lama, or she's talking about a vegetarian version?

  2. i think you are right.
    My understanding is that Tibetan Buddhist monastics are not uniformly vegetarians as are Taiwan's, but, rather, it is a personal decision.
    I seem to remember reading that the Dalai Lama, for example, eats meat every couple of days.

    So vegetarians need to look closely at the ingredients listed on Taichung "sun cakes" (and other biscuits and cakes), or more easily look for the word 全素 ("completely vegetarian"), 純素 ("pure vegetarian") or similar on the packaging.