Bhutanese Nepalese dance group receives community grant

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Burlington City Arts recognizes local organizations that have shown their dedication to equity and inclusion through the arts.

They have just distributed $ 35,000 to 13 artists and arts organizations thanks to a grant from the BCA 2021 Community Fund.

The Nepalese Bhutanese Cultural Heritage Dance Group from Vermont is one of the recipients. The owner, Bishnu Khadka, founded the organization in 2016. It currently has around 15 students, the majority of whom are of South Asian origin.

Khadka says that 70 to 80% of her students do not speak their mother tongue at home. He hopes his dance lessons will help change that.

“All the songs are in Nepali and the children learn Nepali through dance, through song,” he said. “It’s a way of teaching the Nepali language. It is a way of teaching culture. It is a way to introduce them to Nepalese cultural activities.

Khadka also believes in the importance of empowering young people through community engagement by giving them the knowledge to educate their peers and preserve their culture.

“At least they can teach other kids. At least they can tell the other kids. They already know the importance of culture. They already know that the new generations are going down the wrong path, ”Khadka said. “So this is the main benefit for children.”

The Bhoutanese Nepali Cultural Heritage Dance Group of Vermont studio is currently closed due to the pandemic, but is running classes virtually for anyone who wishes to attend.

Other award-winning organizations include the Greater Burlington Children’s Chorus, Burlington Writers Workshop, and VT Stage Picnic Plays.

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