“Gross National Happiness Is a Lie”: Oakland’s Bhutanese Refugees Speak Out
Jason Ditzian

That time we didn’t have even land line phone, no TV, only government control radio. People in the south were tortured physically and psychologically. Schools were banned. No hospitals. People died of just fever and diarrhea and other epidemics for not getting treatment on time. We lost one of the youngest sibling by fever and pneumonia. Dad was jailed and physically tortured for six month for no reason. Mom took care of we six siblings. I was 6 yrs at that time. Army would come to our house and ask for dad, though they know he is in jail. Accused mom for hiding him and would beat her. That was terrible and heart breaking. Women were raped and young man imprisoned and tortured to death. If I keep writing I could write a whole book. Nobody heard us. Language, dress and food was imposed by force. Hindu don’t eat beef, they were forced to eat it.

After resettlement to USA. I feel sense of relief and respected as fellow country men by American. Which Is a great feeling. Now I am American by citizen. Now I can dream and work hard to achieve it.

Bhutan is a country of my birth. I still love it. And of course miss that tiny gorgeous place. Hope is never gone, I will visit that place one day.

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