Nova Scotia

Buddhist royal wedding has N.S. flair

Hundreds of Shambhala Buddhists from around the world have gathered in Halifax to celebrate the marriage of their spiritual leader.

Hundreds of Shambhala Buddhists from around the world have gathered in Halifax to celebrate the marriage of their spiritual leader.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche was recently married to Tseyang Palmo, a Tibetan princess whose father is the leader of another Buddhist movement, at a civil ceremony in the United States. This week's events are being called a spiritual celebration of their union.

Halifax became the world headquarters for Shambhala Buddhism in the 1980s when its founder, Rinpoche's father, chose the city as his base.

About 10,000 invitations to this week's celebrations were sent out to Shambhala members all over the world. Some 1,300 guests are in Halifax for the three-day, $200,000 event.

For wedding planner Wendy Friedman, there's a lot to do to prepare for the biggest wedding to take place in Tibetan culture since 1959.

"We have seven dignitary households, we have 21 rental cars with drivers, we have endless amounts of protocol and details," she said.

Among the guests are Kerry Crofton, who travelled with her family from Victoria to attend.

"Our daughter, Deki, is Tibetan and so we wanted her to experience some of the wonders of her own culture and how it's become Canadian," said Crofton.

Bagpipers were part of the purification and blessing ceremony Thursday on Citadel Hill. At the reception on Saturday, Nova Scotia lamb skewers will be served along with curried chicken skewers.

"It's really joining together all of our traditions, which is very much what Shambhala is about. It's a very rich broth that brings a lot of things together," said Friedman.

But it is much more than just a party, said Emily Sell, a Shambhala spokeswoman.

"This wedding is very important in terms of rekindling the culture because it's bringing the two very important lineages together into a stream," she said.

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