Hindu Cultural and Educational Center





Tanka Dhital

Phone Number:

(515) 505-5538





Bahan Service:

Saturdays @ 6:00 PM

Do not point outstretched feet toward the altar/deity or toward priests. 

– Musicians will play the bhajans while one person sings and 2-4 people dance. You are welcome to dance, though might want to wait until invited. At the end of the service, everyone will dance

Student Testimonial

Pratima, a 21-year-old refugee from Nepal, recalls the crowded conditions in the Nepali refugee camp she lived in until her family moved to the United States. The Bhutanese Hindu refugee community, which had been living in cramped camps since 1995, persevered through hope and connection. The Nepali-speaking Hindus of Bhutan, who were under Buddhist control, were forced to practice Buddhism and the Bhutanese language became the official language. This led to marginalization and physical punishment for non-compliance with the unification mantra. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled for their lives, crossing India and into Nepal, demonstrating the resilience of the Nepali refugee community. The Nepali-speaking Hindus of Bhutan were marginalized and eventually forced to flee for their lives, highlighting the challenges faced by these communities in a world where they are often marginalized and marginalized. 

Nepali-speaking Hindu refugees faced harsh judgment in Bhutan, leading to a choice between persecution or statelessness. After gaining refugee status, they were relocated into camps in eastern Nepal. Pratima recalls the hardships faced by her parents, who had to work and take care of them. Despite the hardships, the children continued to learn about their religion and the Sanskrit language. They learned rituals of bathing, robing, and offering food to the murtis, depicted on posters rather than statues. The priest recited passages, which the children would repeat and commit to memory. Pratima and her family now hold tightly to their traditions and attend weekly services.

While many Nepali Hindu communities re-settled in Seattle, the state of Iowa’s job opportunities, lower living costs, and the chance to live close together attracted many refugees. Children and teenagers were placed in school shortly after arrival, while adults obtained jobs through local refugee services and took advantage of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offered through refugee assistance programs like the Lutheran Services of Iowa (LSI).

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