Aware of our fascination with the current wave of Bhutanese refugees alighting in the U.S., our favorite correspondent from the Nushagak Bay area alerted us to this great A/V feature from the Anchorage Daily News. Apparently a small group of the Lhotshampas have landed in the Land of the Midnight Sun, after a gobsmacking 17 years spent in refugee camps along the Bhutan-Nepal border. Now they’re finally free to celebrate Dashain in the proper manner.
The slide show got us thinking about Alaska’s recent history as a destination for refugees. That curiousity led us to this fascinating chart from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Perhaps not surprisingly, the lion’s share of Alaska’s refugees were from the (ex)-Soviet Union between 1983 and 2005; the state also played host to 32 Romanians, 4 Cambodians, and a single Burmese (who we hope didn’t get too lonely).
Lots of other great stats in the chart, which provides some key insight into which states have become home-away-from-home for two or three generations of immigrants. We all knew about the Somali community in the Twin Cities, for example. But who knew that the lone Botswanan granted refugee status last year made his way to…Nebraska? Anyone know his story?