Ex Gurkha soldiers celebrate Nepalese culture at Cwmbran Army centre
6:01pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
President of the Wales Gurkha Community Mr Narenda Limbu with his youngest son, Sunohang Limbu at its first open day in Cwmbran (942716)
GURKHAS who fought in the Falklands and Iraq raised awareness of their little known culture with knife demonstrations, food and dance.
The ex-servicemen and their families gathered at the TA centre in Cwmbran, helping to raise awareness of the contribution the Nepalese-born soldiers have made in the British Army since the 19th century.
Yesterday’s open day continued the efforts actress Joanna Lumley has made to highlight the sacrifice Gurkhas have made to preserve the British way of life.
More than 70 Gurkha families live in and around Cwmbran including Falklands veteran Narendra Limbu, the president of the Wales Gurkha Community.
Mr Limbu, 55, of Llantarnam Road, said: “We put on this free event for all in Cwmbran as a way to thank the whole community for the way we have been treated since our arrival.
“As ex Gurkha servicemen with our families living here, we feel it is important for all to get a glimpse of our culture and this event is the ideal forum to do so.
“In the Falklands I can remember a corporal died. A couple of friends had injuries after the war as we stayed for six months to clear the area of mines.
“Hopefully this event will grow from strength to strength in the following years."
The free open day in Ty Coch Way featured Gurkha folk dances with army kukri knives, performances by a retired Gurkha bagpiper, displays of Gurkha tools and curry dishes.
Torfaen Council also contributed to the event by helping to organise children’s activities including face painting and football.
Cllr Plaid Cllr for Fairwater, Jeff Rees, said: “It’s fantastic to see this community take its place with everyone else in Cwmbran, I count myself lucky to work with them, Gurkhas have served in the British Army for nearly two centuries.
“Issues around getting a fair deal on pensions still exist in some cases.
“ I expect more to settle, live and work here when they leave the British Army and I am sure they will be made very welcome.”