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Bollywood Honors Richard Gere

May 31, 2000

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ Hollywood star Richard Gere was honored by Bollywood at an awards ceremony for some of the top stars in India.

Thousands of fans of India’s gigantic film industry filled the seats at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night to pay homage to their favorite actors, actresses, musicians and singers at the Zee Gold Bollywood Awards. Among those honored were actor Anil Kapoor, actress Aishwarya Rai and Gere.

Gere was honored with the ``Man of Conscience″ Award for his efforts to promote Tibet’s freedom from Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, is the head of a Tibetan government-in-exile based in India.

``I see my life very much intertwined with India,″ Gere said. ``My conscious awareness began in India and this is something I can never forget. The only way I was able to meet the Dalai Lama was through the kindness of the Indian people.″

Around 800 movies a year come out of India. The center of the film industry is in Bombay, from which the name Bollywood is derived.

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