Festival an expression of culture

A SHOWCASE of Bhutanese cultures, food and clothing will take place in Launceston next week.

The annual Bhutanese festival, organised by the Bhutanese Kirat/Buddhist Association of Tasmania, will celebrate Christmas, Kirat festival Udhauli Parva, Buddhist holiday Tamu Lhosar and Bhutan's national day.

Event organiser Til Rai said the afternoon would be an introduction to the Bhutanese community for Northern Tasmania.

``We're very new in Launceston so we'd like to introduce ourselves and show our younger generations our culture and identity,'' Mr Rai said.

``The Bhutanese government did not allow us to express freedom of ethnicity, culture or religion.

``We did not come here to dissolve our culture . . . It's important to introduce ourselves as Bhutanese and welcome everyone.''

The event is also a show of thanks to Launceston's Migrant Resource Centre volunteers, who have helped the growing community settle and feel welcome.

Mr Rai said just as Launceston's residents were introduced to traditional Bhutanese food, so too would some Bhutanese nationals.

Some members of the community grew up in refugee camps in Nepal before arriving in Tasmania. 

Mr Rai said elderly members of the community held fears their culture would not be continued.


WHAT: Annual Bhutanese Festival.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 17, from 3pm until 5pm.

WHERE: Between Esk Market and Aurora Stadium, Inveresk.

HOW MUCH: Free entry and free food provided.

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