Nepali students settle in Beckley for college

Local - 5/7/2013 6:25 PM by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - On any given afternoon, it's very likely a Beckley home on Evans Street will be filled with aromas coming from the kitchen. The food is cooked for a group of students from Nepal who crossed continents for an American education.

"Our parents -- like that's the first priority," Suman Chettry said. "You have to finish school no matter what, and parents always help us."

The Nepali have lived in West Virginia for almost five years. Shortly after meeting at Mountain State University, the group bonded over their common language, food and values which define their culture.

After i met them, it feels like a home," Subash Chamling said. "I don't miss anything there, so they make me feel like everything comfortable."

Friend Jayant Rai said the group has become family.

"We all feel at home," Rai said. "We never knew anybody here that came to U.S. Now you see us, you know. We live together. Our friendship is very nice.

Nepal is a country in southern Asia known all around the world as the home of Mt. Everest. Many Hindus also boast it's the birthplace of Buddha.

"It feels really proud from in our hearts," Kushma Devi Suryabangsi said. "Like OK, I'm from Nepal, and I feel proud."

The Nepali now live among a population mostly comprised of European descendants. To help expose the Beckley community to Nepali culture and also become acquainted with U.S. customs, the group formed the Royal Nepal Beckley Club.

"Let's know them. Let's gather them," Laxman Roka said. "Tell them our culture, who we are, where we are from -- that's why we form the club. That way we can cooperate together."

Forming the club was a must.

"Being a student, I think it's a responsibility that we have that we must be doing something for the society," Rai said.

Many of the young Nepali said their stay in the United States will hinge on available opportunities.

"I mean, who doesn't miss your family and your place?" Suryabangsi said.


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