Friday, February 07, 2014

Emerging communities: Bhutanese refugees land in Rochester

Refugees from Bhutan are also settling in Minnesota and are learning how to live in this culture.  - - Donna Poisl

Sean Dobbin, Staff writer

Over and over, Saha Biswa writes the first half of his first name on a piece of paper.

S-A. S-A. S-A.

The paper is wide-ruled looseleaf, and Biswa is taking up two lines per letter. He's 42 years old.

"The patience of an adult to start over again at that level, leaving everything behind..." said Kathy Labue, trailing off as she looked across the open room at Mary's Place, as dozens of other adults did the same as Biswa.

For each of the past four years, Rochester has taken in several hundred Bhutanese refugees. Many of them have settled in northwest Rochester, and dozens come to Mary's Place every day, trying to learn English and adapt to their new culture.
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