Fringe Box



Nepalese Community Looks to Forge Links With Others in Guildford

Published on: 29 Jan, 2013
Updated on: 4 Feb, 2013

Sham Lem-Gurung and Nanda Lem-Gurung from the Guildford Nepalese Community Association tell DAVID ROSE about the plans they have for 2013 which they want to share with everyone.

Members of Guildford’s Nepalese are keen to become more involved in the life of the town, and are planning a number of activities to which everyone will be invited.

Sham Lem-Gurung and Nanda Lem-Gurung from the Guildford Nepalese Community Association.

Sham Lem-Gurung and Nanda Lem-Gurung from the Guildford Nepalese Community Association.

These range from celebrating their own traditions and customs to organising classes in English as a second language.

The Guildford Nepalese Community Association was formed about two years ago, but this year will see it being much more active.

Its president, Sham Lem-Gurung, said: “We currently have about 110 members, and membership is increasing. We meet every couple of months.

“We started in the Westborough area of Guildford, but have now spread to include Nepalese people throughout the borough.”

Sham said that their members make up about 10% of the Nepalese population of Guildford. Some of these of are former Gurkhas and their dependants, while others have come to the UK to study in higher education.

Many work at the Royal Surrey County Hospital as either healthcare assistants, in housekeeping or as staff nurses.

Sham added that their association aims to forge better links with the overall community. His fellow committee member, Nanda Lem-Gurung added that they have also become members of the Park Barn Community Association.

Sham and Nanda are both former Gurkhas who between them have served the British Army in many parts of the world including Hong Kong and Kosovo.

Their association in Guildford holds coffee mornings for its members and they are planning some cultural events this year, the first being on April 14, which coincides with the Nepalese new year.

In August they hope to put on a celebration of a festival called Teej. Nanda said this is essentially a women’s day where Nepalese women dress in traditional costumes and there will be lots of music and dancing.

Sham said that planning for these is now going ahead and a venue will be booked. More details will follow.

They will also be setting up a series of free courses of English as a second language in conjunction with Guildford College.

Essentially aimed at Nepalese women, Sham and Nanda said that men will also be welcome as well as non Nepalese Guildford residents.

The free courses will be held at the Park Barn Centre and Sham said: “They will help people in their work and with social integration.”

Another member of their association’s committee is Navaraj Ghale. He runs the Sunrise Gurkha Sports Club, which meets every Sunday afternoon at the Guildford Community Centre in Leapale lane. Check out its website by clicking here. 

Nanda and Sham also stressed that they want to help younger members of their community to integrate more. They said that some of the young Nepalese find it hard to mix with other people of their age group. They hope that with the adults extending a warm welcome to all, that will in turn lay good solid foundations in the community for generations to come.

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