The Dalai Lama praised the cafe for “promoting Tibetan culture in Scotland for many years”
A popular Newington cafe has found an unlikely potential savior after being threatened with closure. The Dalai Lama has publicly supported a campaign to save the Himalayan CafÃ©.
Beloved South Clerk Street cafe is at risk of closing as the current owner wants to retire. The cafÃ©’s current owner, Reka Gawa, is raising funds to buy its premises and avoid its closure.
A spokesperson for the Dalai Lama said he was aware of the coffee’s work and hopes he can continue. He praised Himalaya CafÃ© for “promoting Tibetan culture in Scotland for many years”.
Reka Gawa grew up in Tibet and met the Dalai Lama in the Scottish Parliament in 2004. She was asked if she wanted to meet the spiritual leader, himself exiled from Tibet after its occupation by China in 1951.
When he met: âHe told me that he wanted to give me very important advice to promote Tibetan culture. I promised him that I would stay here in Scotland and that would be my first priority. It was like a dream “
In 2007, she created the Himalaya CafÃ© in South Clerk Street. Over the past 14 years, she has established a strong community and the cafe includes a mediation room on the ground floor, which is free to use.
To help raise funds, Teka has also launched a GoFundMe, which has surpassed its target of Â£ 45,000 and is currently at Â£ 50,329. She now has the money to save the cafe, but any money that is left will now be used to pay off the loan.
Sonam Tsering Frasi, representative of the Dalai Lama in northern Europe, the Baltic States and Poland, said the spiritual leader knows about coffee and Rekha’s work to promote Tibetan culture.
He added: âI very much appreciate that Reka has been promoting Tibetan culture in Scotland for many years and wish to see its coffee business go uninterrupted, providing the taste of Tibetan cuisine and tranquility to the Scots of Edinburgh. “
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