TIBETAN monks wind down after praying for world peace – by watching violent blockbuster Braveheart.
The Mel Gibson epic inspires modern-day Tibetans who dream of independence from China, according to Dr Martin Mills.
The director of the Scottish Centre for Himalayan Research said normally peaceful Buddhist monks “love” the bloody tale of William Wallace’s struggle with the Auld Enemy.
Regular Tibet visitor Dr Mills said: “They love this film. The Scottish situation is something that Tibetans are fascinated by – they love talking about it and they always have.
And it is not just monks who revel in William Wallace’s heroic struggle. According to Dr Mills, the victory has captured every Tibetan’s hearts.
“Certainly whenever I’m over there, two things that always come up in conversation are the Scottish and the Palestinians because both struggle with their independence.
“It’s a common ground between the Scots and Tibetans.
“Two to three hundred years ago, Scotland was in a very similar situation as Tibet is now and they will forever be interested in our success story.”
“The Dalai Lama has close links with Scotland and visits every now and then and so the connection between Scotland and Tibet will always be quite strong,” Dr Mills added.
Braveheart scored ten out of ten for its violence and gore rating by the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).
Particularly gruesome scenes include a severed head being pulled out of a box, a man being hurled from a window and man’s face being crushed by a ball and chain.
China abolished the Tibetan government in 1959 and most of the country is now an autonomous region of the People’s Republic.
Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch recently revealed how he watched Braveheart with monks near the Indian border in between prayer time.
Cumberbatch, who spent his gap year teaching English to Tibetan monks and children, described how the monks felt an affiliation with the Scots, having experienced similar battles of independence with China.
Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, he said: “They loved watching Braveheart when I was there.
“They liked the idea that they’re the Scottish oppressed minority and, of course, the English are the Chinese.
“It was an amazing experience,” he added.
This week a Scots historian claimed that William Wallace may not have been the sole leader of Scotland’s rise against the English.
According to Professor Dauvit Broun, of Glasgow University, Wallace became an “accidental hero” and that a knight called Richard of Lundie should be credited for helping lead the struggle.