Monday, April 5, 2010

A Little Background on Nepal

This is a photo by Jean-Marie Hullot, taken in Changu Narayan, Nepal, used here under the Creative Commons copyright.
Our Bhutanese collaborators in the Nepali picture book project are ethnic Nepali who speak Nepali as their first language.  They were exiled by the Bhutanese government and have  been living in refugee camps in Nepal for eighteen years. Neither Bhutan nor Nepal would let them be citizens of their country and work.  In recent years,  many of these 107,000 southern Bhutanese have resettled to other countries.  According to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, the majority will make the U.S. their home. The boy in this photo lives in a city in the Kathmandu Valley, divided from Bhutan by only the small eastern region of Nepal where  the Bhutanese refugees lived.  Here is a video documentary from Seattle about a family from Bhutan who have become citizens of the United States.  Khem Rizal is featured in the video. He is excited about opportunities in America after living most of his life in the camps. He says his parents are having a hard time in the U.S. but "the coming generation will have a better life than us." We hope the picture book project will help the older generation to share their culture with the "coming generation" born here.

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