bhutan

Esther Honig

On a Thursday morning, Officer Khaled Bahgat drives his police cruiser to the Northeast side of Columbus. There, in an aging apartment development, lives a significant concentration of Bhutanese-Nepali refugees.

M.L. Schultze / WKSU

Nine pregnant women get together on Friday mornings on Summa Health Systems’ Akron campus, in a room that looks more like a living room than a medical office. It’s time for blood pressure, urine and belly checks, and time to compare swollen ankles, back pain and sales on diaper bags.

Tiffany Stacy holding daughter Paulina
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Over the last decade, the International Institute of Akron brought thousands of people from Nepal to Akron. It also brought Tiffany Ann Stacy and Amber Subba together. Theirs is the first – and believed to be only – mixed-marriage so far between a Bhutanese refugee and an Akron-area native.

Puspa Gajmer opened the Himalayan Music Academy about 18 months ago in what had been a real-estate office on Akron's North Hill.
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU PUBLIC RADIO

The look of Akron’s North Hill has changed significantly since Bhutanese refugees began arriving here a decade ago. But the sound has changed even more. In a week-long collaboration with the Huffington Post, WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that it’s in the music that the blending of two cultures could be most noticeable.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This second part of a collaboration between WKSU and the Huffington Post focuses on the impact of Bhutanese refugees on the music of Akron.

Editors's note: This is the first report in a week-long series WKSU is doing on the integration of Bhutanese-Nepali refugees, who began their migration to Akron a decade ago. Tomorrow, we’ll explore the fusion of music that is emerging.

Adora Namigadde

Around 40 people gather in Hem and Leela Timsina’s two-bedroom apartment Wednesday afternoon.

M.L. Schultze / WKSU

The University of Akron has created eight new scholarships for members of the Bhutanese-Nepali refugee community. The announcement was made at this weekend’s annual Bhutanese festival.

Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees in Central Ohio

Jun 2, 2017
Alemaugil / Wikimedia Commons

More than 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepali refugees have settled in Ohio since the 1990s. As they've integrated into Columbus and the surrounding communities, their stories have become intertwined with the history of central Ohio.

One documentary photographer has documented 30 of their journeys with the help of a writer for an exhibit opening this month. Join us today as we discuss the experiences of the Columbus Bhutanese-Nepali refugee community.

A music school founded by Bhutanese refugees in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood is introducing its sound to the greater community.

In this week’s Shuffle, Akron Beacon Journal music writer Malcolm Abram introduces us to The Himalayan Music Academy:

Sam Hendren

Binaya Subedi was born in Nepal but came to the United States when he was 17. Now, as an Ohio State associate professor of education, he studies the Bhutanese-Nepali community in Central Ohio and the issues they face around identity, poverty and prejudice.

Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees in Central Ohio

May 1, 2017
Bhutanese refugees in Beldangi I presenting a Bhutanese passport.
Alemaugil / Wikipedia Commons

More than 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepali refugees have settled in Ohio since the 1990s. As they've integrated into Columbus and the surrounding communities, their stories have become intertwined with the history of central Ohio.

One documentary photographer has documented 30 of their journeys with the help of a writer for an exhibit opening this month. Join us today as we discuss the experiences of the Columbus Bhutanese-Nepali refugee community.

Guests:

Esther Honig

Columbus is home to a large, and growing, refugee population. But as these voters head to the polls this presidential election they could find language barriers. Ballots, voter registration and candidate information are rarely available in foreign languages like Somali and Nepalese. 

Despite the obstacles, these citizens are working hard to make their voices heard. 

Public radio journalist Lisa Napoli was fed up with the rat race in Los Angeles and longing for adventure. So Napoli headed to what is known as the happiest place on earth, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan – where the nation’s priority is not Gross Domestic Product, but rather Gross National Happiness – to help start a youth-oriented radio station called Kuzoo FM.

Public radio journalist Lisa Napoli was fed up with the rat race in Los Angeles and longing for adventure. So Napoli headed to what is known as the happiest place on earth, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - where the nation’s priority is not Gross Domestic Product, but rather Gross National Happiness - to help start a youth-oriented radio station called Kuzoo FM.