Resettlement Stories

21-07-2010

This month, GHRD met a number of resettled families throughout the Netherlands. Among them was the Mainali family.

Udaya and Bhima came to the Netherlands in 2009, along with their two young daughters, and two of Udaya’s brothers. Here, they speak about their lives in Bhutan, in the Netherlands, and their hopes for the future.

Profile: Udaya Mainali

About Bhutan

I worked for 6 years for the Government as a policeman. I made an oath to my country that I would work for my country for safety. As a policeman, coming to the camps in Nepal, all my hopes died.

About the Netherlands

The rules and regulations of Holland are very good. The safety you get is so good, and this is what every human needs. I have experienced nothing bad, no discrimination, you can do whatever you want, you can have a temple in your house and no one will say anything.

About the future 

When I left Bhutan, I lost all my hopes, but now I see my children, this gives me a lot of hope, they will do a lot. When my children’s future is good, my future is good.

I lost everything in Bhutan, my hopes and everything. When the Dutch and Bhutanese governments can agree, and give the permission that people can go back to Bhutan and have a safe and good life, I will go back. But it must be a democratic state, where everyone is safe and has the same rights.

I believe for 10% it is possible, I lived 18 years in Nepal and never imagined that I could come to a country like the Netherlands where everyone is so nice, and now that I live here and see all the possibilities I now have, I think anything could happen. I came from somewhere where there were no human rights; they were zero, now I can see what they are.

Profile: Bhima Devi Mainali

About Bhutan

I left when I was a child. My grandparents are in Bhutan, but we have no contact at all, my parents are in Australia, all the rest are in Bhutan. They are living in a very small village, they don't have any telephones so it is difficult to be in contact with them, I love them very much but I cannot be in touch with them. I am worried that they will die soon, they are almost dying, they are very old, and I cannot see them.

About the Netherlands

When we moved to our house, we received a lot of help from our neighbours, all around, to settle in. One neighbour only has one arm, and still he came to help us. My children love Sinterklaas, and they love going swimming. It is very easy to make contact with Dutch people, now that I speak the language, even if my accent is not good, they can understand me, I have a lot of Dutch friends. I love it in The Netherlands, it is very peaceful. This is a country of freedom.

About the future

I came for my children, if I didn't have children, I wouldn't have come to the Netherlands. I think a lot about their future and sometimes I am thinking when they are older, in their late teens, it will be difficult. I am afraid, maybe when they are that age, their friends could be bad, they could smoke and do bad things, so I am little afraid about that.

At first I didn’t know what I would do here, maybe take care of elderly people or children. Now I want to get a diploma.

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