Stuck in Vermont: Bindhiya Khadka Shares Her Nepali Culture Through Dance | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Stuck in Vermont: Bindhiya Khadka Shares Her Nepali Culture Through Dance

Episode 627

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Bindhiya Khadka is 12 years old, and she has been singing and dancing since she was little. At the age of 1, Bindhiya and her family arrived in Burlington from Nepal. Her father, Bishnu, grew up in Bhutan and spent 19 years in Nepali refugee camps after being expelled from Bhutan. There are about 2,500 refugees from Bhutan living in the Burlington area.

Bishnu cofounded the Vermont Nepali Cultural Heritage Dance Group in 2016 to teach Nepali dance and culture to the younger generation. We filmed a rehearsal of the group in 2017 and met an 8-year-old Bindhiya who loved learning the dances. More recently, the group changed its name to the Bhutanese Nepali Cultural Heritage Dance Group, and Bindhiya was a top-five finalist in the Himalayan Music Academy Online Talent Show Competition.

Eva recently caught up with Bindhiya and two other members of the group at the O’Brien Community Center in Winooski to see a taping for the Vermont International Festival, which is going virtual this year. She spoke to Bindhiya; her father, Bishnu; and her cousin Jeetan about the importance of retaining their Nepali culture.

You can see the full performance of the Bhutanese Nepali Cultural Heritage Dance Group online during the Vermont International Festival, which runs from December 4 through 6.

Music:
"Naraina" & "Indore" by Kevin MacLeod
Licensed under Creative Commons

This episode of Stuck in Vermont was supported by New England Federal Credit Union.