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21

W E D N E S D A Y

Absorbed by India or China, such outposts of Tantric Buddhism as Sikkim, Ladakh, and Tibet are losing their identity. The same is true of Bhutan, the last independent Buddhist kingdom in the austere, long-isolated Tibetan plateau, fears New York Times correspondent Barbara Crossette. In her lecture, “Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas,” Crossette discusses the subject of her new book, So Close to Heaven: the decline and possible destruction of “one of the world’s most appealing civilizations.” At 8 p.m. at the Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (MJ)