This photo is of Hindu priest Dilli Ram Pokhrel preparing for an infant’s naming ceremony. Pokhrel is a Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugee who arrived in Austin from a refugee camp in Nepal. This group of refugees has suffered a long history of forced exile, causing many to live scattered across the globe without a country to call home. They face many issues that threaten not only their quality of life, but also their culture and identity.
When I learned of the arrival of this group from the Nepalese refugee camps, I empathized with this community’s struggles, as many aspects of their lives closely mirrored my own as an immigrant in a new country. As many of them begin to naturalize, I will continue to explore what it means for them to attain citizenship, and how this impacts their sense of “belonging.”