Back in the Thamel. Again.
Coffee, power, all of life's necessities, wrapped up in a concise little place called Thamel. Touristy as it might be, it's simply what the people in (post?)industrialised countries take for granted and consume every day.
Bhutanese Refugee camps are a whole different story.
And it's not a pretty one.
Driven from their homeland in southern Bhutan 18 years ago, 108.000 people currently sit without any citizenship in the south-eastern provinces of Nepal.
There are a lot of interviews, and I want to provide you with an accurate translation before going into detail.
Summarising the translations I got from T.P. Mishra (founder of the Bhutan News Service and perhaps the only internationally active refugee journalist without a citizenship):
It wasn't ethnic cleansing in the classical sense, but it got quite close to it.
The religious aspect was present, but not central. The holy threads were reportedly cut from the Brahmans, Hindus were forced to kill cows. Quite serious, actually.
The people there basically haven't been able to work legally since the early 1990s.
Resettlement to third countries is hope and possibility for many, but it remains a half-baked solution.
Culturally, the southern Bhutanese have lots of rituals, "puja", offerings, equipment, stuff they can't reasonably leave behind because of their spiritual beliefs.
Actually, these things are a bit to heavy for the planes, though. And the money to afford an additional luggage charge is neither available of affordable.
I'll be working on the video for the next week or so, so expect few updates, and another dave's away with true content and message.