HISTORY OF LIMBUS IN CALGARY
Throughout history, humans have migrated from one place to the next for various reasons. Likewise, the ethnic Limbus from Nepal and other parts of the world have been settling in Canada; specifically in the City of Calgary since the 1990's -- in search of higher standard of living, better career opportunities and quality education for their children. Calgary is now home to arguably the biggest Limbu settlement in North America with roughly 35 households and over 100 individuals. The Limbus or yakthumbas are integral part of the greater-Nepalese community in Calgary and have contributed immensely in the growth and development of the local Nepalese populace since their arrival two decades ago.
First yakthumbas to permanently settle in Calgary were the retired British Gurkhas and their families who moved into the city from Nepal via Toronto, Canada. Healthy job market in Calgary made it an attractive destination for people from all over Canada to-migrate-to during the mid 1990's. Limbu families who were living in Toronto also collectively decided that they should move to the western-Canadian city to secure a better future for their families at around the same time. The idea was to build a permanent settlement of yakthumbas in Calgary and to continue attracting future Limbu immigrants to the city; ultimately making Calgary the hub for Limbus and other retired Gurkhas in Canada.
Mr. Budhi Raj Hukpa Chongbang and his family were the first recorded immigrants from the Limbu community to arrive in Toronto, Canada in 1994. The following year, Mr. Durga Prasad Hukpa Chongbang and his family made their way to the Country. They were quickly joined by families of Mr. Birendra Mudensong Sanba (1996), Mr. Tek Bahadur Faben Phago (1997) and Mr. Lalit Prasad Hukpa Chongbang (1997).
During his time with the British Gurkhas, Mr. Durga Prasad Hukpa Chongbang had come to Calgary for an army training course in the early 1980's, and quickly fell in love with the city. Being the senior-most Limbu person, it was because of his suggestion that Limbus in Toronto unanimously decided that Calgary was to be the city to become a permanent home for Yakthumbas in Canada. Calgary, a city with a beautiful mountainous backdrop, rapidly growing economy, low crime-rate, affordable housing, and an exceptional job market was indeed an ideal place for new immigrants to thrive.
The first batch of Limbus to migrate to Calgary, and to make this city home were Mr. Birendra Mudensong Sanba and Mr. Tek Bahadur Faben Phago in the early 1997. They were shortly joined by Mr. Lalit Prasad Hukpa Chongbang and his family in the following months. Mr. Bhim Lal Hukpa Chongbang and his family arrived in the city in 1998. Families of Mr. Budhi Raj Hukpa Chongbang and Mr. Durga Prasad Hukpa Chongbang eventually joined the rest of yakthumbas in Calgary later that year. These pioneers were instrumental in establishing Calgary as the premier destination for other Limbu families to settle down and lay their roots in.
Yakthumbas have since continued to prosper in the city: with steady population growth, producing many young professionals and entrepreneurs, and being actively involved in the community-building process by playing key roles in establishments of various Nepalese organizations such as NCSC, CNCA and Danfe Sports club.