September 09, 2010

"Have you a sweet year"

Nine-year-old Peter Chiou's bilingual Rosh Hashana
card and
 his mother Sophia's honey cake

Sophia Chiou, my delightful new neighbor from Taiwan and her family are in Atlanta this year while her husband, Tony Chiou, is doing veterinary research at Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Earlier this week, I shared a bit about Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, with her, and described our custom of eating apples dipped in honey, symbolizing hopes for sweetness in the coming year.

Today, Sophia arrived at my house with three-year-old Iris, surprising me with wonderful homemade holiday gifts — nine-year-old Peter's card and Sophia's honey cake.

An auspicious start to the Jewish New Year 5771, radiating a great sweetness to all.

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September 02, 2010

Atlanta Bhutanese refugees want jobs

Meet the Dulal brothers: Jaga, Tila, and Buddha. During the past 15 months, they resettled in Atlanta, joining their parents and community of 6,000 fellow Bhutanese refugees. They arrived from refugee camps in Nepal, where they had been living 18 years with 100 thousand fellow victims of ethnic cleansing in their homeland, neighboring Bhutan.

The Dulals and their community are aching for work to help feed and support their families. And while the Dulals speak halting English and are open to work opportunities, in this tight market they have not yet found jobs. Unless they earn money to pay for their modest housing and other basics, they face potential eviction.

Watch the video (1:50 minutes).



Bhutanese refugee men and women seek work in —
  • Restaurants: cooking, cleaning, and serving
  • Childcare and elder care
  • Landscaping, maintenance, and other service work
  • Factory assembly lines
  • Bakery processing plants
  • Sewing, tailoring, and weaving
  • Designing and making beaded necklaces
  • Henna painting
The young adults and high school students also seek work — after school, summers, and weekends. They speak English, and the teens attend local high schools (where many are in Advanced Placement [AP] classes). Many young adults study part-time in local community colleges where they must pay fees while helping to support their families.

Contact us
Please send job leads and offers to BhutanBaskets@Gmail.com.

How Bhutanese refugees come to Atlanta
The refugees arrive in Atlanta and nationwide through combined efforts of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Third Country Resettlement Program and the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. The UNHCR also works with the U.S. and many other countries to resettle other refugee groups from around the globe.

Thank you and Namaste*
*Sanskrit greeting, meaning, I bow to you

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 Cross-posted at Bhutan > Atlanta