It’s not often that you see a headline story about the tiny country of Bhutan, but such was the case when I picked up the Seattle Times a few days ago. In a way it was a heartwarming story – but also a sad one. The Nepalese are/were a minority community in this Himalayan Kingdom. But during the years we were there in the late 1980’s there were rumblings of expelling the Nepalese, even though they had been there for generations.
The headline story in the Seattle Times made this very personal. Here was a Nepalese/Bhutanese family – the family members had been separated for many years. They were among the more than 100,000 ethic Nepalis who were expelled from Bhutan in the early 1990’s (this was just after we left). In 1992, 15 members of the Biswas family fled their home in southern Bhutan in the back of a truck. They had sold their livestock and the land they had farmed for generations. They crossed India and found safety in a refugee camp in eastern Nepal.
Starting in 2009 waves of the family were resettled in Tukwila in South King County Seattle. The headline and feature article featured the last of the family to arrive here in Seattle from the refugee camp. A happy ending to a sad story.
For more details and pictures see the Seattle Times, October 17, 2016
I hope there is a happy ending for our many Nepalese friends we knew in Bhutan.