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Switzerland. Basel. St. Jakobshalle. Dolma Knell (L), Yangchen Büchli (C) and Dicki Shitsetsang (R) greet and pay tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They offer him scarfs, called khata, with a humble bow before them, with head bent over and palms joined in respect. In most cases the giver will receive his or her Khata back from the given, as a token of blessing back to them. When a Khata is offered to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and received back, it will be cherished and preciously kept as it is now a very special blessing, a talisman and protector. The three women are part of Aeschimann's children who arrived 50 years ago in Switzerland to receive custody on a private initiative by an influential Swiss industrialist, Charles Aeschimann. Yangchen Büchli (C) holds in her hand an old black and white picture shot before her departure and depicting her as child with the young Dalai Lama. In 1962, Charles Aeschimann agreed with the Dalai Lama to take 200 children and place them in Swiss foster homes and give them a chance for a better life and a good education. Most of the children still had parents in exile or in Tibet, just a few were orphans. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, recognized since 1950. He is the current Dalai Lama, as well as the longest-lived incumbent, well known for his lifelong advocacy for Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. Dalai Lamas are amongst the head monks of the Gelug school, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama, also called " Ocean of Wisdom" is considered as the incarnation of Chenresi, the Bodhisattva of compassion who is also the protective deity of Tibet. 8.02.2015 © 2015 Didier Ruef