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Philadelphia Proves A Welcome Landing Spot For Group That Spent Almost Two Decades As Refugees

Pat Loeb Pat Loeb
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Every year at this time, newcomers to our shores replay the story of the first Thanksgiving: overcoming hardship and adjusting to a new home.

The kingdom of Bhutan is renowned for its happiness index, but a lesser known fact about the South Asian country is that it forced some ten percent of its citizens–ethnic minorities from Nepal–into refugee camps about 20 years ago.

Bishnu spent most of her life in a camp.

“The Bhutanese government blames us as bad people, and they sent us to Nepal and we are living there, like, 17 years. Our whole life we are refugees,” she said.

A few years ago, the U.S. agreed to help resettle some of the refugees. About 300 came to Philadelphia. Bishnu actually went to New Hampshire, but her family convinced her to move here.

“I live there eight months and here, Philadelphia, 18 months.”

And does she like it here?

“Yes, I like Philadelphia,” Bishnu answered.

Bishnu also said that the Bhutanese who came to Philadelphia are happy here, and that after years in the camps, they’re thankful to have a home.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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