Refugees in America have many things to offer
“I have a hope, one-day people will understand that English is just a language, not a measure of intelligence.”
I saw this posted on someone’s Facebook. I don’t know who hoped that. ប៉ុន្តែ, I realized after reading it, that his hope remained a hope to many people like me. Many people underestimate you for being a refugee, for not speaking English.
People who are intelligent enough to understand that intelligence is something different than just being fluent in English will definitely understand you, your strengths, abilities, and your feelings. These people always try their best to make sure they understand what you mean so that they can help you. To be honest, yes it is very difficult to work with those who want to prove that language itself is the measure of intelligence.
ការពិតគឺ, American history is never a complete one without refugees. We have many strengths and things to offer.
I can proudly say that, whatever might be the circumstances, refugees have never stopped working hard. Whether back in the refugee camp or in the countries where they are resettled, refugees have always proved that hard work is the key to a secure future.
It has been just eight years that many Bhutanese refugees started coming to the USA.
Our people already have many achievements. Just imagine how many English classes has to be attended starting from basic ESL to become an RN. It almost took four years just to get into the RN courses they have completed and are now working in hospitals. Many of our people are working as medical Assistance, CNAs, teachers, beauticians, ល.
Refugees in America
When I first came to Pittsburgh there was only one Nepali grocery. ឥឡូវនេះ, it’s been five years and there are six groceries, two gold shops, one cosmetic and clothing store, and two Nepali restaurants. If you ask these store owners about the loans they have to pay every month for their businesses, they will just smile. Because in our case if you need money for some purpose, we go to our friends or relatives rather than going to a bank which will make you pay double of what you have taken. Actually, I don’t know how Americans can handle bank loans.
Another strength of refugees is savings. We sometimes discuss with friends and relatives regarding our income and savings (which I know is a very big privacy for those who are not Bhutanese refugee). I have asked some of my very close friends and relatives who have been with an entry-level job for four years and they already have at least fifty thousand dollars in savings.
One of the reasons for our high savings could be family tolerance.
If two married brothers are staying in the same apartment which has two or three bedrooms, they pay a maximum of seven hundred dollars per month (I’m in Pittsburgh PA, it might be different in other places). Including utilities, it may go to a maximum of one thousand dollars. So working people are four and now you can calculate how much each individual can save if he makes fifteen hundred dollars per month?
The second reason we are able to save could be cooking at home.
Cooking at home is much cheaper than buying ready to eat type food. In my own experience, I tried not to cook for a week. At the end of the week, I calculated and found that it was almost double. But believe me, I don’t mean to say lazy to those who prefer fast foods. It’s your choice, I might be wrong in your case.
You may ask why should we have saved? If I have to give the reason, I should say have a little saving so that don’t have to work when I’m sixty-nine because my bills are higher than what I get as SSI. It might be a different case to those who have a better income and can have a 401k savings plan.
ជាចុងក្រោយ, a friendly manner with an open heart for acceptance is the biggest strength of Bhutanese refugees. No matter what and how you are, they always accept you as their family.
Knowing the fact that they are the most ignored people at work, whose voices are never heard, they have never stopped working hard trying to prove that your ability to speak a language means nothing unless you have a smart mind and an open heart.
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