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Utah Celebrates Refugee Day

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Hundreds of refugees resettled in Salt Lake City, Utah from 27 different countries around world joined the World Refugee Day Celebration Organized in Liberty Park located in heart of the capital township of Utah with different cultural dances, sports, foods, clothes and many items of traditional identity and important, on June 7.

Speaking at the program, Governor Gary Herbert, said, “Refugees are the victims of persecution, fear and need to feel Utah their home. We are proud that these people are already involved in the economic growth of the state.”

Bhutanese presenting traditional Maruni dance (Picture: Khem Kafley/BNS)
Bhutanese artist presents traditional Maruni dance (Picture: Khem Kafley/BNS)

The officer from the office of immigration administered oath of allegiance to 23 recently naturalized US citizens including 7 Bhutanese who had recently completed naturalization process from this state.

Refugee Office Director of the Department Workforce Services, Gerald Brown, handed awards to the resettlement agency head of the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Community Services and Asian Association of Utah for their instrumental contribution in facilitating the integration of refugee communities towards the mainstream society as community partners.

Unlike past years, this time many Bhutanese were seen selling foods and other household items as many other refugee communities do, during the refugee festival.

The celebration looked like a mini fair. More than 20 stalls were busy selling their programs, foods, clothes and other cultural items from local and abroad.

Deb Coffey, the event coordinator, speaking to BNS, said, “This event of refugees and mainstream communities is to support one another and to celebrate diversities and cultures.”

As a part of refugee month celebration, the refugee office also organized soccer league matches. As per the team captain, Hari Subba, the Bhutanese team played up to semi-final this year.

The program was coordinated by the Office of Refugee Services, Work Force Services in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Community Services and Asian Association of Utah, refugee resettlement agencies, Salt Lake County, Refugee Communities and Local communities.

The MC, Big Budah, Fox 13 reporter, remained attraction of the program throughout the ceremony.

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