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FOOTLOOSE: “I had the feeling that I was near someone like Gandhi,” marveled Ines de la Fressange who, along with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, made a date with the Dalai Lama in the south of France’s Roqueredonde last week for the blessing of a Buddhist temple. Seeing the French countryside ablaze with Tibetan prayer flags was an extraordinary experience, de la Fressange said, recalling the Dalai Lama’s arrival. “He was supposed to come by car and suddenly decided to arrive on foot. When you imagine the importance of such people, it’s quite amazing to see what a humble and simple attitude they can have,” she said, adding that all of the visitors, including Bruni-Sarkozy, had to remove their shoes before entering the temple. De la Fressange sounded less Zen about French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s decision to decline attending the event following China’s request. “It’s ridiculous,” she said. “French people are known for disobeying [orders].”

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