During a visit to the N Street Village, a DC homeless shelter in October 2007, the Dalai Lama touches shelter resident Gloria Spriggs on the chin. (Photo: Susan Biddle/Washington Post/file)
Minnesota (USA), July 5: Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota (TAFM) on Friday organized a “Service Day” in honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 74th birthday.
Some 25 Tibetan volunteers gathered at the Catholic Charities Center to prepare a mixture of hearty home-cooked Tibetan meal and American food which was served to over 200 poor and homeless people in Minneapolis area from 9:30am to 1:00pm.
The dining hall was uniquely decorated with flowers and Tibetan prayer flags.
Organisers said the program was inspired by none other than His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself when he visited homeless shelter
in Washington DC area in 2007. TAFM
is now planning to organize its newly conceived “Community Service Day” every year.
People line up for home-cooked Tibetan meal and American food at Catholic Charities Center in Minneapolis, MN, Friday, July 3, 2009 (Photo credit: TAFM)
The exiled Tibetan leader will turn 74 on Monday, July 6. For Tibetans the world over, the Dalai Lama’s birthday is one of the most important and auspicious occasions in a year and is normally marked by celebrations in traditional Tibetan way.
A representative of TAFM said the organization was now preparing to observe “World Tibet Day” on Dalai Lama’s actual birthday tomorrow to “celebrate the unique value of Tibetan culture and to raise public awareness to the present threat to the very existence of the Tibetan people in Tibet.”
“This year is especially significant as 50 years ago the Dalai Lama left Tibet under the Communist Chinese threat to seek refuge in India,” Sherba Tsomo, an executive member of TAFM, told Phayul.com
Participants enjoy home-made Tibetan meal and American food during a service day organized by TAFM at Catholic Charities Center on Friday. (Photo: TAFM)
A public function featuring prayers and cultural show will be held at the Long Lake Pavilion, Long Lake Regional Park. At the event, a message from Senator Amy Klobuchar
for the occasion will be read out by Clara Haycraft, Constituent Services Advocate from the senator’s office.
Minnesota is home to over 2000 Tibetan exiles who have migrated here from India, Nepal, and Tibet.
The Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota (TAFM), established in 1992, represents the Minnesota Tibetan Community and organizes activities and programs to promote and preserve the unique Tibetan values and cultural heritage.