The Dalai Lama Plays the Handpan

While the title of this post might be a little misleading, with his Holiness the Dalai Lama employing little more than a few cursory taps, and while the video itself (below) might be of a pretty poor quality, we’re sharing it anyway.  Because as far as we’re concerned, a man of the Dalai Lama’s stature being introduced to the Handpan, particularly while during a visit to the city of Bern, the birthplace of the PANArt Hang (and the Handpan instrument by default), is an event of note, for this world of UFO-shaped singing-steel that we celebrate here at HPM...

And as it happens, while this may well be the Dalai Lama’s first introduction to a bona-fide Handpan, it is not his first meeting with a member of the melodic-UFO family.  When back in 2012 the Dalai Lama got to try his hand at playing the Steel Tongue Drum...

As a point of note, over at Facebook - HangBlog author Micheal Paschko has stated that despite the Handpan in question being presented to his Holiness the Dalai Lama as being a Bern made Hang, in the very birthplace of the instrument, “I have discussed this with Felix (one of the Hang-makers)  and Frank (admin of the now defunct Hang-forum) and we are sure: This is not a Hang. Our best guess is: A BElls from Bellart. But I'm not completely sure. Perhaps a handpan from another maker.”.  Which is a little strange.  But regardless of the make, HDL seemed to be visibly impressed with the Handpan, just as he was with the Steel Tongue Drum before it, and so for that, we’re chalking him up as yet another fan of the instrument-type, and (however briefly) member of the Handpan-playing community.  

You can read more about the Dalai Lama’s visit to Bern, and his meeting with the Handpan (and watch a much better quality video that we are unable to embed here) over at

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