It is heartwarming when members of the local communities welcome the Bhutanese community. On Saturday, August 21, 2010, members of the greater Akron area Bhutanese community were invited to participate in the Kent Community Dinner at which the culture and customs of different societies were celebrated.
The Kent Community Dinner is a charitable and educational service organized by All Together Now, Inc.
The Kent Community Dinner brings together people of all ages, cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, and walks of life to share food, conversation, and music at various locations around Kent.
These potluck dinners provide diverse groups with the opportunity to realize the commonality of all people.
Full cars of Bhutanese refugees made their way to Fred Fuller Park in Kent, Ohio, and in spite of dark skies and heavy rain, a festive atmosphere filled the Roy H. Smith Shelter House with approximately 150 Nepalese and 35 Kent community people.
Several local dignitaries welcomed the people to the event.
Traditional dances were performed by Nepalese boys and girls.
Tika Osti gave an insightful overview that explained the genesis and the exodus of the Bhutanese Refugees from their homeland. In spite of the harsh and unfair treatment they received, he concluded his speech with optimism saying that the refugees want “to build their new lives once again in a new country.”
Click HERE for text of Mr. Osti’s speech.
A religious dance punctuated with cymbals.
A heartfelt song about their motherland.
Bhim Dhungana reviewed the culture of Nepalese people from southern Bhutan. He talked about festival, dress, food, and death customs.
He said that it is believed that there are around 33 million gods and goddess in Nepali culture, so every day of the year can be packed with festivals!
Click HERE for text of Mr. Dhungana’s speech.
Speaking on behalf of the Bhutanese refugee community, Dr. Naresh Subba gave some concluding remarks and thanked the Kent community for their interest in Bhutanese people.
Laura Mazur said the the purpose of the Kent Community Dinner is to “get people together to share and celebrate their differences in a spiritual, but not religious, manner.” The effort is to build respect for everyone by understanding cultures and making people feel honored and respected.
Dr. Geraldine Hayes-Nelson (center), speaking on behalf of KSU President Lester Lefton, encouraged both young students and adults to think about going to Kent State University. She also emphasized how important it is that “we come together as a community to celebrate and to learn more about each other.”
Laura Mazur said that the Kent Community Dinner is held from March through October in different locations throughout the city. She hopes the event makes people feel honored and respected.
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