Promoting Community Strengths

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About Us
Bhutanese People In Erie

Who We Are

We are a Non-Profit Organization in Erie, Pennsylvnaia. We are registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and have applied for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service.

Overview of Erie Community

Erie, PA, with a population of 103,571, is located in Pennsylvania's Erie County. It contains Pennsylvania’s only Great Lakes port and is in the extreme Northwestern part of the Commonwealth. It is situated approximately half way between Buffalo, NY and Cleveland, OH and approximately 130 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA.

Bhutanese People In Erie
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Bhutanese People In Erie

With the dream of new life, Bhutanese people started to fly to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, Netherland and Denmark in early 2008. USA is the primary host country among six different countries settling refugees. As of October 2011, about fifty thousand (50,000) of Bhutanese Refugees are settled in the USA in 48 different states. Pennsylvania is now the home of more than ten thousand (10,000) Bhutanese.

Though there is no option for Bhutanese people to choose which state or city they prefer while processing for resettlement, people are free to migrate to the state of their choice after being in the USA.

Aside from the chilly winters, Bhutanese people are happy being in Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, Erie, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Scranton and Lancaster are six different cities in Pennsylvania where Bhutanese people are settled. Because of more employment opportunities, Pittsburgh has the most Bhutanese. Erie is now home to more than 2,000 Bhutanese and is second after Pittsburgh in settling Bhutanese among cities in Pennsylvania.

International Institute of Erie and Catholic Charities of Erie are the two refugee resettlement agencies working in Erie to help refugees find apartments and jobs. The family of Ghana Shyam Timsina was the first Bhutanese family resettled by International Institute in April 2008.

“Beside chill winter, Erie is the best place for living. Here we can quickly adapt because it is not the complex city to understand system and routes. This is our city and we love our city.” - BCAE

BCAE, the Bhutanese Community Association of Erie, represents an organization of the exiled minority group from Bhutan, a small monarchial country in South Asia. BCAE is a non-profit, educational, apolitical, and social organization formed by people of Bhutanese origin who have resettled in Erie, PA. It has been established to provide a common platform for the discussion of issues affecting the Bhutanese community including cultural preservation, traditions, language, and general social and health-related challenges. It also coordinates common efforts and responds to critical needs in the community. By drawing on the community’s collective strengths, it strives toward the consideration of brotherhood, thereby achieving social harmony and securing happiness. In these ways, the Association facilitates and promotes the smooth transition and integration of people of Bhutanese origin into the general population of Erie.

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• The main religion of Bhutanese Community in Erie is Hinduism (estimated at 65%) followed by other religions including Buddhism, Kirat, and Christianity. Hinduism, from the Persian Hindu (Sanskrit sindhu), literally "river" means "of the Indus Valley" or simply "Indian." Hindus call their religion sanatama dharma,"eternal religion" or "eternal truth."

With 900 million adherents around the world, Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world and its earliest forms date back to 1500 BC. The major sects are Saivism, Vaisnavism, Saktism and the sacred texts are Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras, Bhagavad Gita. Hindu is a pantheistic religion with polytheistic elements where most of its followers maintain shrines in their homes.

• For more information about Hinduism, please follow this link: Hinduism Fast Facts
• For information about Buddhism, please follow this link: Buddhism Wikipedia
• For information about Kirat, please follow this link: Kirat Wikipedia
• For information about Christianity, please follow link: Christianity Wikipedia

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