Bhutanese Community in The Netherlands (BCN) organized a Dashain-Tihar, get together cum new comers welcome program on 30th October 2011.
The event which started at 11am was organized at Oase Trefcentrum community hall located in the Dutch city of Utrecht.
Shashi Poudyal, President of Netherlands based Nepal Development Academy (NDA) and the honorary representative of Nepal Tourism Board to the Netherlands was the chief guest. Other invited guests included NRN Netherlands president Narayan Acharya, Dutch writer and film maker Alice Verheij.
Welcoming everybody in the program BCN General Secretary T.B. Gurung highlighted the basic objectives of the BCN and its program.
He said that the sole objective of BCN is to work for the social and cultural promotion and the integration of the resettled Bhutanese living in The Netherlands to the Dutch community.
Speaking on the same occasion BCN former general secretary Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri highlighted the challenges and difficulties he faced during his early days of arrival in The Netherlands and informed the masses on the importance of community organization like that of BCN. He welcomed all newly arrived Bhutanese in the Netherlands and wished them a bright future.
BCN new Central Committee officially gave a farewell to the former Central Committee members with token of appreciations for nurturing BCN.
Chief Guest Poudyal spoke on the challenges and opportunities that the new comers have to face in the Netherlands and said, “Integration to the Dutch society should be the top priority of the resettled Bhutanese in The Netherlands”.
Speaking on behalf of the Netherlands based Nepalese community Netherlands chapter NRN president Narayan Acharya suggested BCN to work pro actively for the establishment of Human Rights and Democracy in Bhutan assuring his help in all possible ways.
Dutch writer and film maker Alice Verheij summarised her experiences during four months shooting films and writing book on Bhutanese refugees staying in Damak. She read some pages of her book on Bhutanese refugees and explained her reason for making a documentary on Bhutanese refugees.
Speaking on behalf of new arrivals, Devi Charan Basnet expressed his gratitude to BCN for welcoming them at the airport and organizing such a wonderful programme. Young Bhutanese artists also played Deushi and Bhailo on the stage while Manish Rizal surprised audience with his well versed and meaningful speech.
Incoming BCN president D.P Mainali and former president Dr. L.P Dhakal jointly concluded the programme while Chief Guest Poudyal presented prizes to all the participants of cultural programs as well as other activities.
President Mainali also presented a gift to all guests thanking them for their presence. Program chairman Dr Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal officially closed the program around 5pm by reiterating the importance of promoting BCN as an umbrella organization of all the Bhutanese based in The Netherlands.
Meanwhile, BCN also welcomed two groups of around 100 Bhutanese resettled from refugee camps in Nepal at the Schiphol airport. Each of the new comers was welcomed with a bunch of flower by BCN team. BCN president Mainali and representatives from various Dutch agencies working for the refugees were also present on the occasion.
Every year Netherlands has been resettling around 100 Bhutanese refugees since 2009. Including vulnerable resettled Bhutanese as yet around 350 Bhutanese refugees got resettled in The Netherlands.
(Reported by Ram Bahadur Karki Chhetri in The Hague for BNS)