The Bhutanese resettled in Adelaide marked their fifth year of settlement in Australia with various cultural presentations and honoring volunteers on May 11.
Following the tradition, the Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia (BAASA) observed the anniversary that marked the fifth year since the first family arrived in Australia from refugee camps in Nepal under Australia’s humanitarian scheme in 2008.
BAASA also honored the volunteers from both the Bhutanese and the local community and various agencies that played pivotal role in settlement and integration of Bhutanese in South Australia.
The Radio Adelaide show in Nepali ‘Yuba Sansar’ run by the Bhutanese youths mastered the ceremony and even sold raffles to raise fund for the show.
Likewise, Adelaide Dragon A, a Bhutanese soccer club sold momo and chatpate (a spicy mixed snack) to raise fund for their upcoming interstate soccer tournament.
The celebration also saw Bhutanese-Nepali dances by ethnic school children and Bhutanese youth groups. The mother group performed sangini dance, a traditional Nepali dance especially popular among elderly people.
The VIPs attending the celebrations were Joe Bettison, the local MP who also represented the Premier Jay Weatherill , Gillian Aldridge, the Mayor of the City of Salisbury which is also the council area where most Bhutanese live, Glenn Docherty ,the Mayor of the City of Playford which funded the event and representatives from other Councils, and representatives from Australian Refugee Association, Lutheran Community Care, Migrant Resource Centre ,Migrant Health, and Anglicare SA, among others.
All the speakers were univocal to praise courage, patience and determination of the Bhutanese to settle smoothly in South Australia among what they called ‘most welcoming’ local community.
MP Bettison announced a grant of AUSD 3000 to support interstate Bhutanese soccer tournament while Mayor Docherty reminded Bhutanese who were soon becoming Australian citizen to preserve cultural identity to enrich Australian multiculturalism.
The BAASA Chairperson, Suren Ghaley, thanked all that supported the settlement of Bhutanese likening the anniversary as the ‘celebration of renewed life’.
Editor’s note: All pictures used are by Stephen Watts