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FRIDAY

From Coffee Talk With Linda Richman to Last Tango in Paris, the cultural lubricant that is butter (or “butta”) has won the hearts and behinds of millions. But can it truly ease the passage to paradise? The evidence suggests it can. Why else would the Easter table be graced with a creamery cast of the paschal lamb? Why else would Hindu marriages be sealed with ghee? And why else would late-’90s R&B act Next have packaged its “Butta Love” promo like a one-pound box of the greasy sticks? Tibetan Buddhist monks, too, take an oleaginous path to the sublime when they make tormas. These richly ornamented, colorful butter sculptures depicting deities are blessed, then eaten, in rituals accompanied by music and chanting. The iconography remains strictly Eastern, though; if the god is a portly gent with a microphone and the music is “Fly Me to the Moon,” that’s not a torma, that’s a Tormé. The Tibetan monks of Sera Jay Buddhist University perform authentic Tibetan butter sculpting at 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Glenn Dixon)

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