Bhutanese Community in The Netherlands (BCN) hosted a grand Dasain-Tihar celebration and Information session at a Multi-Cultural Hall in Utrecht on November 18, 2012.
Bhutanese people living all over The Netherlands were present in large numbers for the celebration.
The program formally begun with announcement by the program hosts duo, Pralad Chhetri and Jigme Gurung, that BCN was going to honor the community’s elder members. Eight elderly Bhutanese, including 86 years old Tila Maya Basnet, living in various parts of the country were invited on the stage where Chief Guest Shashi Poudel (President of Netherlands based Nepal Development Academy and founding president of Non-Resident Nepali Association, Netherlands chapter and Honorary country representative of Nepal Tourism Board) presented them with Khadar and bouquet.
T.B Gurung, BCN’s General Secretary, welcomed everybody in the program and extended his warm felicitation for Dashain and Tihar. He expressed concern for maintaining the culture and festivals that has long taken roots in the community. “It is our responsibility to educate our younger generations about our culture by organizing such programs periodically” said Gurung.
A customary Deusi- Bhailo was performed by the prominent members of the community with Gopal Gurung and Hem Rizal taking the lead in singing.
Shashi Poudel, (who is in the Netherlands for more than two decades) after expressing Dashain and Tihar greetings welcomed all the Bhutanese in the Netherlands and highlighted the challenges and opportunities that the country provides to new comers. “Language is the most important thing for all of you to start a successful life in this country thus please devote your time in language learning from beginning”, said Poudel. He further informed the masses about the complexity of living in the Netherlands and asked them to start a social integration in everybody’s own local community. He answered the queries posed by the Bhutanese community members related to their new life in the Netherlands.
Bhutanese youngsters entertained the masses by offering their dances and songs. Binita, Meena, Laxu, Kalpana, Pooja, Tufan, Dilu and Maduri surprised the audience by their extraordinary dancing and singing skills.
Dutch social worker Ruud, who has been helping Bhutanese since their arrival in 2009, spoke on the unique qualities of Bhutanese refugees. “Bhutanese refugees earned a very good name among the refugees from all around the world by showing their respect and commitment towards their assignment” said Ruud. He has been working with the refugee agency for 35 years and expressed his full hope that one day Bhutanese will shine in The Netherlands.
Delicious Nepali and Bhutanese cuisines were served by the BCN volunteers. Besides the 250 good number of Bhutanese community members, a significant number of people from Netherlands based Nepalese community flocked to the program venue.
Concluding the program, Acting President of BCN, Nawaraj Gajmere extended his deep appreciations for all those participants, volunteers and all masses in general for their huge presence on the occasion. “I expect similar cooperation and participations from all of you in all future programs organized by BCN” said Gajmere.