Background Reveal Button

From a refugee camp in Nepal to the Great Australian Dream – Source:

A Great Australian Dream Indeed. Loved reading this wonderful and inspiring story.

Suman Chhetri as told to Rosamund Burton

I am 34 years old and was born in southern Bhutan. My family were part of the Nepali-speaking Bhutanese??? community, known as Lhotshampas???. My father was a businessman and we had a farm.

Perceiving the Nepalese culture and language as a threat to the unity of Bhutan, in the 1980s the government decreed that all citizens wear Bhutan national dress and speak the national language. My father took part in demonstrations against the new laws and advocated for human rights and democracy. Often the army came to our house to try to arrest him, so he left the country. One night seven months later, in 1991, my mother, grandfather, sisters, brother and I walked across the border to India. I was nine.

I spent 19 years in a refugee camp in Nepal. Initially there wasn’t enough food, we walked 20 minutes to get water from the river, and everyday people were dying of malaria, cholera or typhoid. More than 100,000 Lhotshampas left Bhutan in the 1990s, and most went to refugee camps in Nepal.

Continue reading the story on