MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the most respected people in the world is spending time in Minnesota.

The Dalai Lama was in Minneapolis Saturday for a Nobel Peace Prize Forum hosted by Augsburg College.

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During the forum the Tibetan peacemaker blessed two young people on stage, but it was the young person who ran errands during his visit that was truly touched.

There were many serious moments as the Dalai Lama addressed the crowd, but His Holiness was still able to be humorous.

“One thing people don’t realize, he’s really funny,” Augsburg student, Tenzin Yeshi Paichang, said.

As a first Minnesotan born to Tibetan immigrants, he knows a lot about His Holiness. Paichang calls the Dalai Lama, “Respected, holy, just an icon.”

So when Paichang found out he would be running errands for the Dalai Lama during his visit, he was very excited.

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“I picture myself, like 20 years from now, like when I have children, I’m going to be telling them like ‘Oh, I got His Holiness a cup of coffee,” Paichang said.

In addition to running errands for the Dalai Lama, Paichang also took on the role of His Holiness in a movie.

At two-years-old Paichang played the role of a young Dali Lama in a Martin Scorcese, film, Kundun, after being spotted in Minnesota.

Paichang said anything related to His Holiness, including playing him in a film, is a blessing.

Paichang said that Dalai Lama is not just a man he portrayed on screen, but one he hopes to emulate in life.

“This is probably going to be, like, one of the highlights of my life,” Paichang said.

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The Dalai Lama will stick around for a celebration of the Tibetan New Year on Sunday. As part of the ceremony, Paichang will be dancing for His Holiness.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield