SYRAC– USE, N.Y. — When Dadhi Dahal first came to the United States in early 2009, the Bhutanese population in Syracuse, New York was quite small — the first refugees from Bhutan, fleeing ethnic cleansing policies in their home country, arrived in 2008, after they had spent years in refugee camps in Nepal.
Fast forward eight years. The Bhutanese population has grown into a flourishing, tightly knit group of about 3,000 people. They are part of a substantial refugee population from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East that has transformed the city and its schools. Students in the Syracuse City School District speak more than 70 different languages and four of the most common among them are Nepali, Karen, Somali, and Arabic.
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