Bhutanese in South Australia celebrated sixth Settlement Day
By Laxmi Dahal
Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia (BAASA) celebrated their sixth Settlement Day on Saturday, 10 May 2014 at Cambodian Khmer Buddhist Hall, Adelaide, South Australia. The event that marked the first arrival of Bhutanese in Adelaide under Australian government humanitarian program was organized by Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia.
The program was started with Australian National Anthem followed by welcome speech by Miss Tika Katel, the Public Officer of organization. The most enjoyable welcome dance was presented by Bhutanese Ethnic School children. Lieutenant Govenor of South Australia and Chairman of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, Mr. Hieu Van Le AO and Hon Zoe Bettison, Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Multicultural affairs, ageing, Youths, Volunteers and Veterans Affairs expressed their commitment to support the Bhutanese community settle well in South Australia. On this special occasion Hon. Zoe Bettison MP launched Rojai music album of two Dahal brothers, Narad and Taken. The event was marked by a cultural program comprising of songs, dances and items of cultural, traditional, linguistic and ethnic importance. Community performers from different auspice bodies and different samaj performed cultural performances that allowed for cultural exchange in wider Australian community.
The Chairperson of Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia (BAASA), Mr. Kamal Dahal briefly touched upon the challenges and highlighted “Bhutanese community in South Australia is steadily making progress, overcoming the social and economic barriers of two decades spent in refugee camps, in exile. Being one of the newest communities in South Australia, despite transitional, social and other challenges, members of our Community are coping well”.
He also mentioned that Bhutanese Youths Group (BYG) has been intensively taking part in activities as such helping to prepare citizenship test and language class for adults and seniors. Similarly, youth soccer players both boys and girls are preparing for 3rd Interstate Carnival which is scheduled in first week of July 2014 in Sydney. Soccer players are attending soccer training on Sunday with Eastern United Soccer Club. He also took the opportunity to thank Mark, President of Workers Education Association and the former president of Companion club for his contribution towards Bhutanese community in every aspect. He also thanked the coaches and entire members of Eastern United Soccer Club for their help.
Since its establishment, BAASA is involved in uplifting and promoting the culture and tradition of different ethnic groups within Bhutanese Community. As such, there are different auspice groups under BAASA like Bhutanese Ethnic School, Bhutanese Youth Group and Yuba Sansar.
The Bhutanese Ethnic School is a language school introduced on 17th March 2012 in South Australia to preserve and promote Nepali language, literature, arts, culture and cultural festivals aimed at showcasing and sharing to the wider Australian community.
A group of Bhutanese youth working hand in hand to run Bhutanese radio program, Yuba Sansar to help address youth issue, showcase young talents, share experiences and stories and explore means for their healthy integration into mainstream multicultural society extending friendship among other communities of younger generation”.
This event was organized by Bhutanese Australian Association of South Australia in Adelaide as its 6th Settlement Day. Auspice bodies such as Yuba Sansar, Bhutanese Ethnic School, Bhutanese Youth Group, Adelaide Dragon Soccer Club, Bhutanese Seniors and independent volunteers supported the event.