I am: Parbat
Country: Bhutan / Nepal
Hundreds of thousands of people living in Bhutan can trace their ancestry to Nepalese origins. After the country of Bhutan conducted its first government census in 1988, many of these immigrants – both legal and illegal – were expelled from the country and settled in refugee camps in south-eastern Nepal. In total, about 107,000 total refugees are seeking resettlement.
After living a miserable life in refugee camps for almost two decades, me and my family finally left Nepal and stepped into the land of America in November 2008. My family includes my parents and my grandparents.
In the future, I want to carry on my studies and focus more on science and math, and also keep filmmaking on the side. I wish to study medical science or engineering.
The Reel Lives program has been a great education for me. Lyle and the other filmmakers make me believe that we refugees aren’t the only ones who have had troubles in our lives. Now I have the courage and spirit to join the conversation, and accomplish my goals.
My Film: No Parking in Bhutan
We have arrived in the land of opportunities, and we have to grab those opportunities.
The exclusionary ethnic policies of the Bhutanese government have displaced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Nepalese from their homes and lives. For most of his seventeen years, Parbat lived in a refugee camp in Nepal. In 2008, Parbat and his family were offered sanctuary in the United States, but the transition has not been easy. He and his family are ostracized within their community, and often the victims of petty crime and cruelty.
This film will use the visual analogy of looking for a parking space in busy New York City to help paint a picture of Parbat’s struggle to find a place to call home and explore the way that displacement and relocation has affected him.