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Kyi Kyi Whiting moved from Burma to the United States in 1991.

It wasn’t until she went Magic Valley Refugee Days in 2013 that she met refugees from Burma.

She said that it was the first time in years when she could speak Burmese with someone else. Since then she has gone every year.

This Friday, for the ninth year in a row, Twin Falls’ refugees will give back to their community at the Magic Valley Refugee Day. The annual celebration is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Friday at Twin Falls City Park.

The Magic Valley Refugee Day is intended for members of the community to come and learn more about refugees cultures and customs said Tara McFarland, the community liaison with the CSI Refugee Center.

“Without the community, we couldn’t have an event like this,” McFarland said.

Food is the main appeal for the Magic Valley Refugee Day. The festival includes food from Sudan, Burma, Egypt, Russia, Iraq and more. Be warned: The food goes fast.

An hour into the event there will be several groups performing traditional dances.

Magic Valley Refugee Day is free and open to the public, McFarland said. The event is paid for by clients of the CSI Refugee Center and members from the community.

June 20 is World Refugee Day, and McFarland said they try and schedule the event as close as they can.

Chandra Upreti, originally from Bhutan, has been a part of the Magic Valley Refugee Day since 2012. He said it started out informally, with only 40 or 50 people gathering together. But every year, more people attend.

Upreti said that one treat that will be offered is kheer, a Nepali rice pudding. Here’s the recipe for anyone who can’t wait any longer for the delicious food offered at Refugee Day:

Kheer (Nepali rice pudding)


1 cup of rice

1 cup half and half

2 cups whole milk

1 ½ cups of sugar

1 teaspoon cardamom

2 tablespoon unsalted cashews


2 tablespoons cashews

½ teaspoon elachi powder

½ teaspoon saffron

Cook rice with whole milk. Add half and half, sugar, cashews and spices. Boil for a few more minutes. Serve hot.

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