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Binita Rai

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Binita Rai was born in a refugee camp in Nepal in 1997. Her parents were born in Bhutan but moved to Nepal because they were Nepali and could not stay during the civil war. In 2014, the family applied for resettlement in the United States. In September 2015, they resettled in Colorado. A year later they moved to Minnesota to join relatives already living there.

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0:03:08

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

My name is Binita. I’m going to tell a story about a journey. My parents were born in Bhutan. They moved to Nepal because of civil war. They didn't allow Nepali people to stay in Bhutan. They left the Bhutan in 1992 and lived at a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal. First they did not have a house. They had to stay in the forest. After a month the Nepalese government gave them permission to make a bamboo house

The government also started giving them rice, oil, dahal, salt, and sugar. Before my parents got married their homes were near to each other. They started liking each other and got married in 1995. On December 20, 1997 I was born as a first child. My parents were really happy. When I was 5 years old my sister was born, then we got a complete family. I was in grade 5 when we learned that we had a chance to move to the United States. At that time my parents were scared to start the process to move to the United States. In 2014 I convinced my parents that we should go to the United States because our relatives called my parents and said that we could get a better life.

At last they were ready to apply. The process took 9 months and was finally then we were ready to go. After we left the camp they took us to another place by a small plane. I was really scared and surprised at the same time. After 45 minutes we landed at place called Kathmandu. There I saw a lot of different things. Finally, after 5 days our turn came to move from there. We knew that we would have to take two planes. The first took us to a place called Hong Kong. There we had to stay 5 hours to get another plane. At last we got another plane. I was sick and my mom did not know how to speak English. But my mom saw someone who was talking English and he is from Nepal. It made it easy for us to talk. My mom talked with him and he helped us. After 13 hours of flights we got to a place called Los Angeles. After that we were apart from each other and we were took flights to Colorado and we came there in September 2015. We stayed there almost one year, then we moved to Minnesota because of a lot of relatives lived here and we didn’t have relatives in Colorado.