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Arts & Culture

Student Journalists Help Launch An Online Zine Covering Akron's Bhutanese and Nepali Refugees

photo of Himalayan Music Academy
Students from the Himalayan Music Academy, led by founder Puspa Gajmer (far left), entertained the crowd at the Akron Art Museum during the launch of Global Threads.

A new online magazine funded by the U.S. State Department is covering the cultural heritage of Akron’s Bhutanese and Nepali communities.

The launch of “Global Threads” magazine brought a stage full of musicians to the Akron Art Museum on Sunday. The first batch of articles cover the cuisine and visual and performing arts of immigrants who have settled in North Hill. And the journalists are students like Puspa Gajmer, a Bhutanese musician who runs the Himalayan music academy and is majoring in music at the University of Akron.

“We have already carried our arts culture in our minds, hearts, and everything. So we want to expose those things to our small kids. So that way, they will keep that one and they will pass those talents to another generation, which is so important to preserve our cultural things. So that’s why I’m working on that.”

Gajmer was mentored on the project by multimedia journalists in the Akron area. He and several other student journalists will go to Serbia next month as part of an exchange with Creative Economy Group Serbia, which helped develop the “Global Threads” program. Their work covering Serbian arts and culture – using skills learned here -- will also appear on the website in the future.

Chris Miller of Akronist.com, a website focused on community news in Akron, helped mentor some of the student journalists who participated in “Global Threads.” He says the technical aspects were important, but storytelling is where he worked most closely with the students.

“I believe that storytelling is a good tool to bridge a gap between people who are American-born and people who are re-settled. And to create more understanding and connections with who we are as human beings and build empathy and bring awareness to certain social issues in our community.”