NORWALK - A group of Tibetan Buddhist Monks showed fourth- and sixth-grade students in southwestern Connecticut how to create sand art.

The group is part of the Tibetan Sacred Arts tour and is made up of refugees who live in a monastery in India. According to a translator, most of the monks escaped from the torture and brutality of the Chinese from Tibet.

By scrapping the sand, the six monks created a mandala representing the Buddha of compassion.

"To see them scratching the things and layering on the sand and at first, if I didn't see them actually putting down the sand," Jahkel Robin said. "I would have thought it was a blanket or something. They could have fooled me."

The importance of the art and the mission of the monks is to make peace in the world.

"They're trying to symbolize that horrible things are going on in that country," Lilly Weidhaas said. "The Chinese are really ruling them very unfairly."

The art requires several years of learning, as well as prayer and meditation.

"It's ancient culture, but in some places it's a new idea maybe," Tibetan Buddhist Monk Ngawang Jigdal said.