Monday, September 5, 2011
The Chuwan family is part of a wave of recent Bhutanese immigrants to the United States, part of an effort by the U.S. government to resettle 60,000 of the estimated 100,000 refugees living in Nepal and India. The Bhutanese government had expelled the ethnic Nepalis from southern Bhutan during a fit of nationalization in 1990. The Pioneer Press connected with the International Institute of Minnesota, a social service agency on Como Avenue across from the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, to take the family to the State Fair for the first time.
Man Chuwan pauses as he passes the GMC car display at Nelson Street and Judson Avenue on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
"New models," says Chuwan, 36, who worked as a Toyota mechanic while spending nearly two decades in a refugee camp in Nepal.
Meandering up Judson, the father of two points to the facade of the Village Idiot shop, where dried-grass awnings and skull-topped staffs greet customers.