Cairns Bhutanese mark sixth settlement day
The Bhutanese in Cairns, QLD, Australia celebrated sixth year of their first arrival in Cairns organising Cairns Bhutanese Day on December 6, Saturday.
Around 2:30 pm the VIPs, invited guests and visitors from the wider community, and, Bhutanese community members congregated into the hall of Trinity Bay State High School. Emcees duo, Jeevan Koirala and Prabhu Rai, commenced the formal part of the celebration. The president of the Cairns Bhutanese Community Tej Man Monger, acknowledged and paid respect to the traditional owners of the land. Then Australia’s national anthem was played through out which all audiences were asked to stand up as a respect to the nation.
The Hon Gavin King MP, representative of the Hon Glen Elmes MP, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander & Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier delivered his inaugural speech. King, who is a local MP of Cairns, cherished being invited and expressed appreciation of progress made by Bhutanese within considerably short span of time six years.
The community organization (CBC Inc) acknowledged, appreciated and thanked 10 individuals for their continued contribution and voluntary service to the community. Prahlad Dahal and Naina Gurung, both recipients of two awards each, were appreciated. Bhutanese cultural group was acknowledged for the financial contribution extended to cover community’s public liability. Women’s Weaving Group, Cairns Bhutanese Football Club and three individuals were thanked for their gift of time to the organization and making the Bhutanese community acquainted in Cairns through traditional craft, games, art and voluntary support.
Prahlad Dahal, a senior member of the community, portrayed the journey of Bhutanese refugees from their country of birth to UN managed refugee camps in Nepal and ultimately to eight different resettling countries. He thanked Australia and Cairns in particular for the settlement but also pointed out “we still feel homeless as we do not have a congenial place to practice our culture and spirituality”. Councilor Rob Pyne expressed his commitment to assist the emerging communities like the Bhutanese at this best possible capacity. He also thanked the organizing committee for having invited him to attend such a ‘wonderful’ programme.
Dances, songs cultural costume show were the main attractions of the event. Dances in jahile dekhi timi sanga, Nepal ki chhori, basanta nai basna khojchhan were some of the performances the audiences admired. “Fight scene in jahile dekhi timi sanga gave me a fabulous taste in viewing” said an audience. Presentation of diverse cultural costumes including modern (outfit) became the most attractive feature of the day. “It’s a matter of big delight and I am so proud to have presented mostly the kids in our diverse cultural attire” said Rekha Monger who had coordinated to showcase the fashion show.
Samosa, Alu-dam, Chatpatey, Julebi and products of the women’s weaving group were put on stalls for sale. The money raised would go to community’s treasury and weaving group. Visitors and invitees enjoyed the cuisine. Kiran Rasaily, a community member, commented the cuisine was ‘very delicious’.
The vice president of the community Shanta Koirala thanked the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs. She also thanked Gavin King MP, councillor Rob Pyne, VIPs, invited guests and audiences for their presence. Performers and volunteers were specially thanked for their hands that made the programme a success.