Prayer flags hang Tuesday from the east side of the Chamtse Ling Temple at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and Kumbum Chamtse Ling Monastery south of Bloomington. The center will be part of an Indiana Historical Society exhibit opening soon in Indianapolis. Staff photo by Chis Howell
Prayer flags hang Tuesday from the east side of the Chamtse Ling Temple at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and Kumbum Chamtse Ling Monastery south of Bloomington. The center will be part of an Indiana Historical Society exhibit opening soon in Indianapolis. Staff photo by Chis Howell
The local Buddhist cultural center and monk Arjia Rinpoche will be featured as part of the Indiana Historical Society’s newest exhibit.

The exhibit titled “Be Heard: Asian Experiences in Indiana” will open to the public from April 27 to July 27 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, at 450 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis. According to a news release, the exhibit will celebrate the state’s Asian community by sharing these stories through donated and loaned items, and oral history interviews.

As part of the exhibit, visitors can learn about Arjia Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk of Mongolian heritage who runs the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center south of Bloomington.

In the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, “Rinpoche” is a title given to the reincarnated being of a previous holy person. Arjia was recognized at the age of 2 as the incarnation of the father of Lama Tsong Khapa, the great 13th-century Buddhist reformer, according to the cultural center’s website.

With the help of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Arija sought asylum in the United States to escape crisis in China. He settled in Mill Valley, California, in 1998, where he established the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom. In 2005, the Dalai Lama asked him to become the director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington.

“The life stories featured in this exhibit highlight individuals of great achievement and their fascinating cultural backgrounds, both international and domestic,” Nicole Martinez-LeGrand, IHS coordinator for multicultural collections, said in the news release. “This exhibit will answer questions about Indiana’s growing Asian community and its, at times, complicated history.”

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