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Nepalese Americans or Nepali Americans are the Citizens or Permanent Residents staying in United States whose ethnic origins lie fully or partially in the Asian nation of Nepal. The category also includes other Nepali language speaking people migrated from India, Bhutan or Myanmar. Their migration to the United States began in the 20th century, and they have been able to establish themselves in this new land. The history of immigration to America for Nepalese is short in comparison to other ethnic groups.
The words "Nepali" and "Nepalis" are more commonly used by Nepalese Americans and are gaining widespread popularity in English usage as opposed to Nepalese, which is an Anglicized version.
Nepalese Americans seem to have begun migrating to the United States from early 20th century. The first Nepalese to enter the United States were classified as "other Asian". Immigration records show that between 1881 and 1890 1,910 "other Asians" were admitted to the United States. However, Nepal did not open its borders until 1950, and most Nepalis who left the country during that time primarily went to India to study. Nepalese Americans were first classified as a separate ethnic group in 1974, when 56 Nepalese had immigrated to the United States. The number of immigrants from Nepal remained below 100 per year through 1992.
Since 1990, more than 105,000 Bhutanese refugee have been temporarily settled in refugee camps in the eastern part of Nepal. They were expelled from Bhutan and temporarily settled in various refugee camps in Nepal. After 15 years of exile they are now being resettled in the U.S., Europe and Australia. By the end of the resettlement program it is estimated that around 50,000 of the Bhutanese refugees will be in the U.S.
From the mid-1980s, the Nepalese community in the United States began to develop a series of social, cultural and charitable networks, which include the celebration of certain religious and cultural moments as Dasain, Tihar, and the Nepali New Year. They also participated in local cultural events such as Pacific Rogers and Park Fest interfaith community festivals.