World

The Dalai Lama says preservation of Buddhist culture most important to him

  • Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is helped down a path upon arrival at a Tibetan school, his first public function after his return last week from Minnesota in the United States where he had a thorough medical checkup, in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped Tibetan people live together even in exile. Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)

    Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is helped down a path upon arrival at a Tibetan school, his first public function after his return last week from Minnesota in the United States where he had a thorough medical checkup, in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped Tibetan people live together even in exile. Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrives at a Tibetan school, his first public function after his return last week from Minnesota in the United States where he had a thorough medical checkup, in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped Tibetan people live together even in exile. Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)

    Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrives at a Tibetan school, his first public function after his return last week from Minnesota in the United States where he had a thorough medical checkup, in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped Tibetan people live together even in exile. Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Exile Tibetans hold ceremonial scarves as they wait to greet their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before his arrival at a Tibetan school in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped Tibetan people live together even in exile. Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)

    Exile Tibetans hold ceremonial scarves as they wait to greet their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before his arrival at a Tibetan school in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped Tibetan people live together even in exile. Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)  (The Associated Press)

The Dalai Lama says he considers it most important to preserve the Buddhist culture that has helped the Tibetan people live together even in exile.

The 80-year-old spiritual leader made the comments Saturday at his first public meeting after returning last week from the U.S., where he had a thorough medical checkup.

Many Tibetans fear that their culture may not endure for long and may weaken after the Dalai Lama is gone.

Dozens of school children in traditional Tibetan costumes welcomed the Dalai Lama, and he looked cheerful as he responded to his followers' greetings.