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The Gurung family is a typical definition of a Bhutanese household. There are quite a number of individuals who live in the household, but that is partly because of their closely knit family ties and the manner with which they run their activities. There are different issues facing Bhutanese households. One of the global issues facing the Gurung family is their refugee status. A lot of families in Bhutan are refugees due to various reasons. They flee their home country to settle in some of the neighboring states because they are safer and they have a more conducive living environment. They are refugees after being forced out of their home country into Nepal.
This is a global issue because it affects a majority of the world countries, especially the less developed ones. Refugees flee their home country to settle in neighboring countries for better services and a better life in the country in which they choose to live. The Gurung family is no different. They have settled in their current location, and even though it is hard to survive and live without the notion of being in one’s home country, they have managed to live perfectly in their new area. The conditions might be less friendly that to those which they are used in their home country. A large number of people living in one household is a sign of diminishing utility and marginal welfare.
Different policies in the country affect the wealth of refugees who find solace in the countries. There are different regulations that affect the refugees. It is extremely difficult for them to find and gain employment in their host countries because of their immigration status. It is a long process to gain legal immigration status when one is a refugee. The host government has to verify the authenticity of the refugee and the reasons why they have fled their hos country. Without the right immigration papers, the individual cannot get into the host county’s public school or employment system. In the meantime, the country has to make provisions and ensure that the refugees have the right shelter and clothing to sustain their stay before they can get back to their host country. It is evident that the host county has to have the welfare of the refugees in mind. Although they do not have the work permits and the legal authority to work in the formal employment market, the refugees can find other forms of employment to sustain their stay in the country.
Some refugees live in harsh conditions. Some might get imprisoned for confusion about their motives. When refugees get into a country during a risky time such as war time, they might get mistaken for being enemies of the state hence get imprisoned in the country into which they fled. In imprisonment, some might be tortured and used for hard manual labor. The unlucky women who are imprisoned might be raped and tortured. There are rapes that occur even in the refugee camps, and break the trust of the immigrants.
There are a number of Bhutanese refugees being rendered stateless. Both Nepal and Bhutan are yet to implement any agreement on repatriation hence many refugees from Bhutan opt to resettle in North America and Europe. There is a significant problem of the increase in numbers of immigrants into Bhutan from Nepal, but there lacks an efficient system of reintegration of long term refugees into the country’s cultural and political Mainstream. Most of the refugees retain their culture despite being from entirely different backgrounds.
However, with the growing refugee numbers, there is an increase in the number of illegal immigrants into the country. Since 1991, over a sixth of the Bhutanese people have sought asylum in India, Nepal and other countries. Majority of the refugees hail from one of the three main clans in the monarch; they were forced out of Bhutan in the early 1990s. The expulsion of large numbers of Bhutanese of this origin was planned and executed with eerie detail. Being a refugee does not only mean those people who have been forced out of their host countries for different reasons, but also those who are marginalized in their own country.
Living with the Gurung family and learning their culture over the duration of this assignment has taught me a lot about social activism and my involvement in social work. I now understand the functioning of the Bhutanese family and the manner with which they execute their activities. They value their family ties, and the manner with which they interact with others is admirable. I understand their struggle. They have invoked in me a sense of belonging and appreciation to have the ability to participate in social work. I am motivated to increase my volunteer activities towards different causes.
The impact of studying this Bhutanese family has improved my view of the society; I am more empathetic towards the society. It is their close family ties that have touched me and drove me towards the decision of being more active in social activism. I am grateful for this experience because it has proven that different people deserve the same equal chances in life. Granted the opportunity, I will improve and increase my participation in the social and volunteer activities that I had begun before my interactions with them. It is vital to advocate for the right of individuals whose voices are neither heard nor heeded in the society.
This was a journey of self-discovery. Living with the Gurung family has been an eye opener because I now understand my strengths and weaknesses. For the most part, I am empathetic, and I enjoy participation in all activities that include social and volunteer work. It is easy for me to reintegrate and understand other cultures. Being an individual of diverse cultures, I understand the different components of all cultures. I have understood that I enjoy participation, and interaction with this warm and caring Bhutanese family has been my best experience yet. I have learnt that I interact well with people of different cultures and I have high tolerance levels. Interaction was tough, at first due to the language and cultural barriers, but after getting used to the change in lifestyle, there was increased ease in interaction.
I have a more global and participative outlook on life because I have interacted with different people of different cultures. It is vital to understand the different factors that drive different individuals in order not to judge the choices they make. Understanding the cultures of different people is vital and key in the social interactions in which individuals frequently engage. This period has been a reflection on the self. I understand now that it is my passion to partake in social activism and volunteer work, and engage with different people of different backgrounds. I have understood some of my weaknesses and learnt how to deal with them. Previously, I was shy and making new friends was difficult. Interactions with different individuals have improved my people skills, and I now interact with different people with ease. It is vital to understand other people, and therein lays the key to understanding ourselves.
Probably the most difficult aspect of this assignment was getting comfortable with the host family. Different people view different visitors in a different light; it was difficult to verify the enthusiasm of their welcome. After interactions with the different people, I understand that they are a reserved culture and understanding and respecting their ways was one of the ways I would win their trust. It was a difficult journey, one that I was glad to take and understand different cultures. Dealing with a different culture from mine was a new challenge and experience. It was difficult to understand and respect the different culture. This was achieved through learning how to respect the most fundamental of their values and principles, and ensuring that I hold with deep respect their values. It was difficult to keep reminding myself of the difference and disparity in cultures. After spending time with them and understanding their culture, it was difficult to say goodbye.
There was an unspoken bond that has formed, and leaving felt like a part of me was remaining. The close family ties and the relationship they had built over the period had made me feel closer to them, and I felt like part of the family. The part of the daily routine that I enjoyed was the chores. This ere a family affair and everyone was happy to participate. There was an aura of togetherness that the people enjoyed. There was no supervisor, hence the reason it was so enjoyable. Different people took to different activities and shared stories as they worked. It was a bonding session for the family, a value from which all people could learn. If there was anything I would do differently, it is to be more appreciative of my culture and spend more time with my family. This was a priceless learning environment, one with different non-verbal teachings that improve one’s societal interactions.
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