The Bhutanese

Introduction to Bhutanese Culture(s)

“Almost 97% of (Bhutanese) refugees are ethnic Nepalis. The non-Nepalis include the Charchop, Drukpa, Urow, and Khenpga ethnic groups. Nearly all refugees speak Nepali as a first or second language. UNHCR estimates that about 35% of the population has a functional knowledge of English.”

In Kansas, at the end of 2014, Nepali-speaking Bhutanese constituted 24% of the overall refugee settlement population (Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, 2015).


This 4-page PDF brief describes the background of refugees who come from Bhutan.

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This web page is a more comprehensive version of the backgrounders provided above. It gives more detailed information on relevant information like child rearing practice, post-partum practices, death, traditional medicine, common health concerns, and more.

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The Next Door Neighbors series provides profiles of new refugees in the U.S. The 30-minute video description reads: “Through a profile of Nashville’s newest refugees, the Bhutanese, Nashville Public Television shows the process of initial refugee resettlement and the isolation, shock and sacrifice all refugees experience in the first two years of resettlement.”

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This 11-minute YouTube video, Educating Bhutanese Students in Kansas, gives an overview of Bhutanese culture. The video description reads: “Ran Poudel is a Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugee who works as an interpreter for Catholic Charities in Kansas City. The Bhutanese refugee population is growing steadily in Kansas, especially the northeastern part of the state, as of 2012. Mr. Poudel enlightens viewers with important information about this particular culture, which will serve educators or anyone working with this population very well on how to most effectively interact.”

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