A Dentist, the Dalai Lama, and the Bizarre Backstory of the House of Tibet in Italy

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 03:04
Inside Italy's only House of Tibet
Inside Italy's only House of Tibet / Photo courtesy of Phoebe Hunt

It’s 1982. Stefano Dallari, a young dentist from Reggio Emilia, has found himself on a training placement in Ladakh, northern India. He is researching a thesis on the causes of tooth rot, and working part-time in a dental practice in the town, which is home to dozens of Tibetan monasteries and refugee communities. To Dallari’s surprise, he discovers that despite having little to no access to modern dental care — Tibetan monks living in the town “mainly used twigs to clean their t

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