Lhakpa Gurung is the new assistant teacher for the IIIsR, and is excited to be a member of the C&C community. She comes from a northern Nepalese district, and is always excited to talk about her unique culture. She enjoys working with the IIIsR teacher, Robin Sage, and has wanted to be a teacher for younger kids for a while.
Lhakpa comes from a Nepalese district called Mustang, also known as “The Lost Tibetan Kingdom.” Even though Mustang is in Nepal, it is very culturally and linguistically similar to Tibet. She originally moved to America because she heard of the better education she could get here, and has been living here for the past 11 years. Lhakpa has always wanted to be a teacher for younger kids, and she knew that America would give her the motivation, influence, and opportunity that she needed to fulfill her dream.
Lhakpa lived in Minnesota for five years, but visited her sister in New York often. She liked New York a lot better, and felt that it was the right place for her. She moved to Queens and lived there for a while, but recently moved to Jersey City.
“Being a teacher, there’s a lot I can offer to the children,” said Lhakpa. One of Lhakpa’s favorite parts of C&C is its acceptance of diversity. She described how the staff were very welcoming and how Robin is very supportive of her. She was able to feel like a part of the community and school quickly.
“There’s a lot of knowledge you can gain about creating a community for everyone.”
On Friday, February 8th, Lhakpa introduced the traditions of Tibetan New Year to the IIIs with a Tibetan outfit and Tibetan food. The IIIs even got a chance to feel the outfit’s material. Lhakpa explained that she comes from a cold mountain area, so their outfits are large and warm. The IIIs all enjoyed a special type of Tibetan biscuit called khapse that is often eaten during Tibetan New Year.
One of the most exciting parts of the celebration was the book that Lhakpa created to teach the IIIs about her culture. She couldn’t find any children’s books about her culture, so she decided to make one herself. Lhakpa took pictures of her family celebrating Tibetan traditions and showed them to the IIIs. In the future, Lhakpa would like to publish a book similar to this one, as she received many positive responses.
“One of the IIIs said that they had a dream about Tibetan New Year, and it was really cute.”
Lhakpa said she has always been passionate about spending time with children and introducing her culture to other people. Therefore, being an assistant teacher for the IIIs has been a great experience for her.