The Tibet-Indiana connection 


This year marks the centennial of the arrival of Dr. Albert Shelton, an Indiana missionary, and his wife, in Tibet. Today, Bloomington is Little Tibet, with a thriving Tibetan Cultural Center, two Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, three Tibetan restaurants, and a number of Tibetan-Hoosier families, including the Dalai Lama’s older brother, professor Thubten Norbu. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has visited Indiana four times. Dr. Albert Shelton was a medical missionary in Kham, the most remote and dangerous mission of earth at that time. During the course of his nearly 20 years in Tibet, Shelton became a celebrated doctor, ethnologist, spy, and central Asian diplomat. Indiana author Douglas Wissing ranged through the wilds of eastern Tibet to get the story on Dr. Shelton. Wissing’s book, Pioneer in Tibet: The Life and Perils of Dr. Albert Shelton, was published by Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press in March. Wissing will speak about his book and the many adventures of Dr. Shelton at the Indiana History Center on Wednesday, August 11 from noon to 1 p.m. The History Center is located at 450 W. Ohio St. For more information call 232-1882.

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