The Dalai Lama is backing efforts to save a Scottish café inspired by a promise a Tibetan woman made him almost 20 years ago. Reka Gawa, 39, opened t

Dalai Lama backs bid to save Edinburgh café he inspired

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2021-09-27 07:00:06

The Dalai Lama is backing efforts to save a Scottish café inspired by a promise a Tibetan woman made him almost 20 years ago.

Reka Gawa, 39, opened the Himalaya Café in Edinburgh after a chance meeting with the spiritual leader at the Scottish Parliament in 2004.

Reka was brought up in Mussoorie in India and moved to Denmark when she was 13. When she was 22 she moved to Edinburgh and got a job at the Scottish Parliament.

"And one day he said did I know the Dalai Lama was coming later that day and would I like to meet him as he knew I was Tibetan."

She said: "I was so excited and happy and nervous to meet him in person as I had only seen him in photographs and I called my parents in India to tell them.

"I waited for him in the lobby and then I could see him coming towards me and my heart was beating very fast, I was crying and tears were rolling down my face.

"Then suddenly he was standing next to me and he was holding my hands to comfort me because I was crying, they were tears of joy."

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