Glimpse of History:
The Bhutanese Nepali are descendants of Nepalese migrants that settled in Southern Bhutan in the late 1890’s. Originally recruited by the Government of Bhutan to clear the jungles of Southern Bhutan in the late 1890’s, they were called Lhotshampas, meaning ‘People from the South’. Over time the Lhotshampas prospered in Bhutan and became high-ranking government officials and educators by the end of 1980.They made up 45% of the population of Bhutan and booming economy of the country.
Beginning in the early 1990s, members of an ethnic minority population living in southern Bhutan began to flee rising levels of violence and persecution at the hands of the Bhutanese government. Denied their citizenship rights due to religious and cultural differences, the group eventually sought protection in UNHCR-established refugee camps in Nepal. Ultimately, the number of refugees swelled to over 100,000, housed in seven camps in eastern Nepal.
Many years living in a refugees camps with the hope of returning to their own homeland to Bhutan was unsuccessful. In 2007 the international communities initiated the third country settlement for Bhutanese Refugees who have been confined in the refugee’s camps over two decades in Eastern Nepal. Around 6500 Refugees settled across Canada as part of Resettlement process and started their new lives in Canada beginning of 2009. As a part of this resettlement process around 300 people made their settlement journey to the beautiful queen city in Regina since 2009 – 2014 and made Regina as their permanent homeland adding another cultural values to this beautiful city.
Living in a refugees camps for several years with traumatic experience was one of the significant factor that makes most of our settlement journey more challenging in the beginning due to the following factors’ Language barrier, difference in cultures, jobs competition and so much ….
Poverty to possibility, a journey from refugee camp to Canada became more meaningful once families and individual that received warm welcome and support from communities and agencies during our initial settlement journey .We thanks Canada and many local communities and settlement agencies that involved to make our resettlement journey successful in Regina. Making us responsible citizen of this great nation and making a part of a bigger community.
Today 70% of the population of this small community already became a Canadian Citizen and call them a proud Canadian after three decades of state less status. The Community organization is actively involved since 2011 and helped the members of the community in their successful settlement and integration process. Community is also giving back to the community to help the one who are in needs. Community had made a very huge donation to Diabetes Association on the occasion of 150 Canada Day celebration on July 1, 2017. Community also donated $2900.00/- for victims of Earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
Some of the brief overview of the community activities are:-
- The Community is aims to provide an opportunity for all age group members of the community to engage in the social events with other communities’ to share and learns traditional values and culture each other.
- The community is engaging youths and younger generation in many activities to preserve our traditional values, art and culture for our future.
- Community is helping youth and community members for leadership skills development and intercultural connection with a objectives to contribute and make them responsible volunteers and citizen in the community.
- Community is also engaging Senior citizens of the community in many social activities to help them to integrate in the community and keep them connected among themselves. Socialized them and prevent them from being isolated.
- Community is also promoting its cultural values with many other multicultural communities in the city though the community participation, involvement and through various social events to build a stronger multicultural community.
Language and literature play an important role in shaping the life of individual. The role of languages and literature helps in sustaining all aspects of the society. Keeping these key role of languages and literature. The literary section is created in order to preserve creative articles both in Nepali and English languages for our Bhutanese- Nepali Community of Regina for the future.
Bhutanese- Nepali Community of Regina would like to wish happy Vaijay Dashami and Dipawali Festival.