Learn about popular dishes served in Bhutanese-Nepali culture.
Hear the story of a boy's journey from Mexico to America.
Storyteller Raju Dahal shares two of his favorite Nepali foods, Momo and Roti, traditionally served at ceremonial events.
So begins this touching personal story by Cesar, a Mexican immigrant who unsuccessfully attempted to cross the border with his mother as a child. After being sent back to Mexico to live with relatives, he shares what it was like to be separated from his parents and eventually rejoined as they all sought a better life in America.
We are excited to share that last week, the Storytellers project received the 2012 National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) award for Best Nontraditional Community Engagement. We are humbled by this recognition and glad that immigrant and refugee voices are being heard beyond Nashville. While this project hasn’t always been easy, it’s an initiative that we at NPT feel is important to our community.
Storytellers grew from the belief that immigrants and refugees in Nashville have important stories and perspectives to share. Often those stories remain untold. With making technology and training available, it is possible for immigrants to find and express their own voice. The result has been a broader awareness of communities and experiences that exist in our city.
Below are some of the judge’s comments about the project. Storytellers is much bigger than those of us at NPT; the real stars of the project are our immigrant storytellers, and the thoughtful, in-depth stories they continue to share with our community and beyond.
This online project is outstanding…The fact that this wonderful project and all of the work behind it happened on such a relatively small budget says a lot about the big success of this project.
The timeliness of this project is excellent given the pressing national immigration issue, especially regarding the concerns for humane treatment of immigrants across the country and how they can best be helped to thrive in this country.
If you want to connect with immigrants and refugees in your community- what better than to work with agencies that serve that population.
The strong partnership here easily could be considered innovative for a public media station…the stories are compelling and it’s no wonder that major national media has picked up on it.
On the second day of our summer Storyteller Boot Camp, I joined Storytellers Prakash and Kamal in their homes as they told their first stories (with us anyways). While Kamal and Prakash were waiting to begin shooting the story about Nepali food culture, Kamal offered to show me a few videos of his former home in the Beldangi refugee camps of Nepal. There were several videos on YouTube featuring the camps and Kamal even pointed out his house in one of them. I had a camera with me and thought the experience was worth sharing.
These days, technology provides a blessing of communication for refugees whom in years past would have been further removed from their former life, their relatives and friends. Reminders of home, pictures, personal belongings often don’t make the trip with refugees when resettled. In some cases, sites like YouTube have replaced tangible items. Communication also allows families to help those left behind and find out quickly when events happen in locations that might not receive media attention here.
It is clear in this video that being reminded of home is bittersweet. I was struck by how both Kamal and Prakash struggle with the transition they have made. Life in America moves fast and forward with few available moments for reflection. I was pleased to witness this one.
In the first Storyteller training session, we spend much of our time talking about story ideas – what makes a good story, why things normal to you can be extraordinary to others and how to focus stories to their most important elements.
When it came time for Luis to discuss his story idea, he said he already knew what he was going to do… We are glad he did, because there is no way we could have thought up this…
Enjoy! And thanks Luis for a great video!!
Many cultures and religious traditions have rituals around the birth of a child. For many families who have settled in a new land, preserving these rituals is of utmost importance, even if only in the privacy of their own home.
In this video, storytellers Kamal Bastola and Prakash Subedi give us an intimate look at a Bhutanese family conducting a naming ceremony for a recent newborn baby, a traditional ceremony in Hindu custom.
In the past two weeks, there have been eight attacks on houses of worship across the nation, seven of which were mosques. Some have been vandalized, acid bombed, shot at, and on August 6th an Islamic center in Joplin, Missouri got burned to the ground after being damaged by an arson fire the month before.
This picture seems all too familiar for Muslim American storyteller Hayat Abudiab, who created this video about what she experienced when her Columbia, TN mosque was firebombed in 2008.
Last week, we had our very first Storytellers Bootcamp, where in three days local immigrants picked a story idea, gathered footage and edited it all into a video. Congratulations to everyone that participated–we all learned a lot from each other and we are very proud of your hard work! You can check out this story on our Media Update blog about the training and view some of the videos.
And here’s a great video about the bootcamp itself from veteran storyteller Alice Gatebuke (reminds us a little of ‘The Office’!).
Refugees and immigrants in the US often remain connected to friends, family and events back in their former countries. Recent elections in Egypt provide a reminder, while many Egyptian Americans living here pay close attention to what is happening abroad, they also have a different perspective because of their experiences in the US.
During the production of our recent installment of the Next Door Neighbors series featuring Nashville’s Egyptian community, we heard many stories about politics in Egypt and the impact on the community here. Some felt a general distrust of politics in the US, because they had not had a voice in Egypt. Others dived into the American political system because they appreciated the opportunity US democracy provides. All expressed hope that democracy in Egypt would provide a brighter future for Egyptians. One participant in the program, Zainab Elberry, stands out regarding her political beliefs. She has dedicated much of her life to encouraging political involvement.
Zainab has expressed some of her beliefs through poetry, and the following Storyteller submission from Egyptian intern Sam Mounier shares her poem The Monument. The poem reflects an intersection of Egyptian and American influences on Zainab’s identity and ideals through a description of the Washington Monument.