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That other Tibetan icon Add to ...

Dharmasala, March 11 -- So I'm standing in a little general store in between McLeodGanj, seat of Tibet's government-in-exile, and the town of Dharmasala, a couple of kilometres down the mountain, and there is a great tide of young monks and nuns in maroon robes bustling past outside, because class just got out and prayers are starting up the hill. And one monk, about 17, ducks into the shop and starts rummaging in what must have been pockets deep inside the folds of his robe - and pulls out a crumbled 20 rupee note to buy - a Pepsi, of course. But while he's rummaging, he drops his keys (what do monks have keys to?) On his key chain: the face of the Dalai Lama? An "om" symbol in Tibetan characters? No. A slightly more secular icon: Spiderman.

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