Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc.

News: General Meeting October 13, 2012

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With 65 people in attendance in the Parish Hall of Blessed Trinity Church at 300 East Tallmadge Avenue in Akron, Ohio, the BCAA was called to order for a General Meeting.  President Bishnu Subba, Secretary Prakash Misra, and Treasurer Tuk Rai conducted the meeting.  Several trustees and advisors were in attendance and special guests included Dil Rimal, Bhakta Ghimire, and Terry Kuhn.  The main topics discussed included a proposed cultural program, Nepali language classes, citizenship classes, and an office for BCAA.

Bishnu Subba
Bishnu Subba
Tuk Rai
Tuk Rai
Bhim Dhungana
Bhim Dhungana

 

Bishnu Subba said that the Bhutanese community in Akron is doing fine, but sometimes we go forwardd while others we go backward.  We all need to go together in order to save our culture, our tradition and our community.  He said that:

(1) We have our member in your community to collect money and they will collect your money like they are your Representative from your area. 

(2) The website has been changed, and we need your comments and suggestions about that. 

(3) We are planning to start an online radio program, and we also need your comments about whether we should start one or not. 

(4) we are doing a cultural program and we are preparing for it in November. 

(5) We have been missing some of the houses in our collections, so if you move we might not have your address, so it may be easier to find a representative from your area to give your money to. 

(6) We are doing the cultural program to save our culture and traditions for our future generations and also we work all year and this program is to entertain one day like a holiday or day off. 

 

 

Cultural Program

 

Bishnu Subba said that people are looking forward to the Bhutanese Cultural Program in November, and "we want our people to support to make it successful."  “It is important have cultural program like this once a year because at other times people are busy with their own work so on that day people will gather and spend some time with friends and family.”  Another reason for the cultural program is that it sets a good example for upcoming years.

 

President Subba said that "...Nepal was not our motherland but also we had lived there in a society surrounded by the same culture, customs, and traditions, and we celebrated our festival with honor -- even though we were refugees.  Now we're in AMERICA! and it's way different than where we used to be.  But being in a different society doesn't mean we can't celebrate our festival and wear our traditional dress.  This year, as always, we are going to celebrate our festival with our dances, musics, and food.  This will only be possible if we work together as one.  We're celebrating this festival to remember our culture and traditions, as well as to communicate with people in our community so we can stay in touch with each other. This festival will also entertain us , especially our elders, and also so our young brothers and sisters will know who we are and what we have." 

 

A hand vote was taken asking if those present favored having a cultural program.  A large number of people raised their hand in support of the idea. 

 

Anyone who would like to participate in the cultural dance program should contact Renuka Subba!  Her email address is in the officer list at http://www.bcakron.com/BCAA%20Officers.htm 

General meeting participants
General Meeting Setting

 

Nepali Language Classes

 

The BCAA is discussing Nepali language classes for youth who are interested.  These classes will be designed especially for the young people to learn Nepali and to stay familiar with our culture.  These classes were desired mostly by the older people.  The older generation doesn’t need Nepali language help because they are already fluent in Nepali and know how to read and write it, but our kids go to school and learn English everyday -- which is a good thing -- but, on the other hand, they are forgetting Nepali. Some believe that it’s important for them to learn how to read and write Nepali as well as English because in the future there might be a time when the young people know only English and the older generations know only Nepali.  Then our kids won’t be able to understand us and we won’t be able to communicate with them.

 

Some in attendance said that they don't think these classes are necessary because we are all now living in the United States where English is necessary to communicate about all aspects of life, from medical help, to buying and renting houses, to ordering and buying anything in stores.  So the question was asked, "Why should there be Nepali class when all of our people need English class?

 

We need to know your opinions toward this issue, and then we'll decide whether or not we should start these classes.   

 

General meeting participants 
Audience at General Meeting

 

Citizenship Classes

 

Citizenship class which is held by International Institute and BCAA used to be two classes per month, but from next month or so there will be four classes per month.  And to make the class successful there is going to be money collection for needs like notebooks and other items.  Citizenship classes are important because they will help us to become citizens and give us the right to vote.  The classes are also a chance to reunite families, they are a way to protect your children's right to remain in the U. S., they are a protection in cases involving illegal activity.   Citizenship also makes international travel easier.  The instructors are Bhim Dhungana and Krishna Subba.  Comments and suggestions are highly welcome.   

Audience member asking question 
Audience member asking question

 

Sponsoring an Office for BCAA

 

Taking the podium, President Subba said "We are planning on renting a home because in order to get our community financial help from the government, we will need our own office to show that we are not wasting money.  So we would like all of you to donate $1 to $2 from one house per month for a year.  We think after that we will have some money from government for rent and other stuff."

 

He said "We need to collect $2-3 from each family once a month.  Why? Because we're going to rent an office to run BCAA.  An office will be helpful because when we have some problems we can go there and discuss about it."  When asked why can't we get help from the government instead of collecting money from our people, he said "because no one will help us if we don't have an office to show them where we work."   Another person said that it may be easier for some but it may also be hard for some to pay $2, so don't we have anyone who can pay $2 for us till one year?  President Subba responded "Till now we don't found anyone who can help with that but perhaps if we find someone, they wll need our address.  That is the problem that we don't have our own address. 

Audience member asking question 
Audience member making statement

 

Financial Report

 

Tuk Rai reviewed the financial transactions of BCAA.  He said that BCAA spent $1,206.37 in support of soccer players.  In the past, when money was donated and collected, the cash was given to the organizers of the games.  Now the money collected is deposited in the BCAA FirstMerit bank account and a check is written to the person in charge of the team.  This accounting method  provides the monetary record that the association is required to keep.

 

Audience member asking question 
Audience member making statement

 

Report about International Institute Procedures

 

Amber Subba made several observations about how to get the most out of the assistance provided by the International Institute of Akron.

 

He said that when you go to hospital with an interpreter, listen to what he/she explains to you about your health.  You should know about your health once they explain it to you.  If you have any doubt or questions, then ask them inside the room; because interpreters have the right to not explain things to you once you are outside the room.

 

Bhim Dhungana said that your doctor always expects you to know your name, your address, and your phone number.  Also the doctor is the one who determine whether you should get an interpreter or not, it does not depend on any other reason.  It is also good to know your family doctor's name and phone number so if you are in a different state and you need to go to a hospital, you can start from where you left off.  If you don';t know your doctor name and phone number you might need to start from the beginning.


Amber said that when you have a interview at Job and Family Services, you should not miss it, otherwise your
benefits can be cut off.


You should inform your ELS teacher if you are unable to attend your class.  And let them know the reasons and circumstances that prevent you from attending.


If you get a call from a business or any company, do not say YES! or NO! without understanding what they are telling you.   Never give your bank account numbers and any personal information like your birth date to someone who calls you.  Anyone from a bank or credit company already knows that information.  If you think it is important, say that "I need a Nepali Interpreter" otherwise just say "NO ENGLISH" then hang up.

 

Table discussion of issuesAmber Subba speaking 
Participants listening                      Amber Subba speaking

This article was prepared by Terry Kuhn, Dukula Katel, Champha Subba, and Sajan Osti. 
 
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