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  • Spectator: Johnson Bube Engages Refugees

    By Kelton Sears for The Spectator

    November 19, 2009

    Sunday evening students in the Xavier Hall frantically ran around stirring pots of butternut squash ravioli and stacking freshly baked cookies and pastries. They were pushed for time before their guests arrived, but their guests didn’t mind.

    The students—members of June Johnson Bube’s English class—welcomed nine Bhutanese refugees, resettled in Kent, for dinner and a discussion to talk about their resettlement process. Johnson Bube’s class, which is part of the Xavier Global Learning Community, focuses on international issues with the theme of “Global Citizens.”

    “The purpose of this event is twofold,” explained Johnson Bube. “One is to welcome these people […] and the other one is for us to learn about their culture.”

    With music and balloons, the atmosphere was festive, but the visitors shared stories that represent the ongoing struggle Bhutanese citizens face in their own country.

    Refugee Gopi Dhaurali sat on the arm of a sofa in Xavier’s lounge, perched in the middle of a circle of attentive, listening students.

    “The government used force,” he began, explaining the consequences one could face for not conforming to the will of the Bhutanese government. “They could arrest us, have us killed, rape the women […] We didn’t know when we’d die, when we’d be killed.”

    The guests that visited Sunday are all ethnically Nepalese, although they identify as Bhutanese and call that country home.

    Photo by Candace Shankel
    See full article on The Spectator Website

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