Sera monastery is a few kilometres from Lhasa. We headed there mid afternoon with the intention of watching the debating monks. Every day (except for Sundays), the Sera Monastery’s monks undertake a one-on-one (or sometimes two-on-one) debate on the philosophies of life (so we’re told). As we waited until 3pm, quite a few dozens of monks gathered in the courtyard in pairs or teams, and began discussing a particular topic. Usually, one monk was seated on the ground cross legged (or on a mat) with his partner standing above him. The standing monk would pose a question (so it seemed), or make a statement and as he completed his sentence clap his hands whilst at the same time stamping his left foot. It was a fascinating thing to watch, though we had no idea what was being said as it was in Tibetan. Our guide advised that even he didn’t understand what was being discussed as the debate topics were related to their Buddhist studies. We watched the debates for over an hour, intrigued and at times amused, as some monks were quite intense and serious (oblivious to the tourists watching one), others appeared to be joking around with each other. It was certainly an interesting afternoon.