Nepali Language Learning Center in Antioch, TN

Children during the learning session Photo: RN Bista

By R N Bista, Tennessee

Bhutanese community in Antioch and Nashville,Tennessee brought their love for language to reality and rejoiced at having inaugurated Nepali Language Learning Center (NLLC) on 19 June, 2016, coinciding the ‘Father’s Day’.

Children during the learning session Photo: RN Bista
Children during the learning session
Photo: RN Bista

A garage-turned-classroom with a mobile air conditioner, a few low seated furniture and the wall hanging colorful picture charts in Nepali is all set to house. Kids shall attend the classes for two hours on every weekends starting 26 June. 2016. The center is located at one Krishna Timsina’s house at Antioch, Tennessee.

Freshly cut and bind ‘Nepali textbooks for beginners’ with pictorial pages were spread out on the table and handed to each of the kids attending the event. The book was designed by Mangal Singh Tamang—the leader of the project language class.

The inauguration took place at 2.30 pm; the function presided by JN Chapagain-a new arrival at Tennessee and a longtime teacher at Beldangi camp.

Addressing the gathering,  Tamang stressed that one couldn’t imagine promoting our rich arts/ literature and cultural heritage without inculcating the importance and necessity of our mother-tongue, both in written and spoken, to the tender minds of the growing children at an early stage. ‘As such, this is a timely measure to get hold of them and pave a way towards adopting their original culture and values in future’.

He thanked and appreciated everyone for their participation in the new initiatives.

Meanwhile, RN Bista—another leading figure of the community underlined the need to instill and inject a sense of responsibility to all parents to get their infants into learning Nepali language. He, however,  cautioned that despite such noble step on the part of socially active volunteers in the community, the life and longevity of the new project will depend squarely on the attention, interest and curiosity of the parents.

Mr Chapagai, despite having stepped in USA five days ago assured his commitment to work together to uplift the community. He lauded the opening of the new Nepali learning class.

Jitu Basnet and Charan Timsina—two of the initiators of the project and active community stallions—collectively echoed their determination to take the new venture to a successful end.

Kamal Rai, the treasurer, briefed and updated the expenses incurred and the balance for the upkeep of the new initiative. He expressed his pledge to leave no stone unturn to exhibit all transaction transparently.

In a largely closing and discussion session, Yam Kharel, another community activists, underscored the rationale behind setting up the Nepali learning center. He maintained that in the event of financial crunch, some logistics for running classes in other settlements around Nashville, at times, could be accrued through volunteer donations.

Thirteen kids were enrolled so far and the class is expected to begin  26 June, 2016. Besides voluntary contribution, a part of the fund will be generated through selling books and a monthly tuition fee as low as $15. Some volunteer teachers are already in place.

The center is presumed to be an experimental and pilot project. Plans are underway to open classes in other areas of Bhutanese settlements in Tennessee.


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