Culture of Sikkim | Custom, Tradition and Lifestyle
8 months ago
This article will help you know about the culture, custom, tradition and lifestyle of Sikkim and Sikkimese –
Culture and Custom
Sikkim is famous for its homogenous blend and rich cultural heritage. It is the land of manifold tribes and races of people living together in which we can see their unique culture and tradition in each community. People of Sikkim are very warm and friendly and live in peace and harmony even when they belong to different communities. They have very unique customs and traditions from any other place. The monks cover themselves with masks, sparkling jewels and ceremonial swords and perform the famous mask dance in the rhythm of trumpets and drums on special occasions and festivals. Most of the people of Sikkim follow Buddhism and go to worship in monasteries by offering butter lamps. We can see the miscellany of religion, language and different ethnic groups in this beautiful place.
Sikkim shares its border with three countries Nepal, Bhutan and China. Hence there is the influence of these countries in the language of Sikkim. One of the primary languages of Sikkim is Nepali, in the provinces of North-East parts of Sikkim Lepcha and Sikkimese (also called Bhutia) are spoken. There are many other languages too that are spoken in Sikkim including English, they are Kafle, Majhwar, Limbu, Tamang, Yakha, Tibetan, and Sherpa.
The culture of Sikkim is a melange of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet which is reflected in their food culture. Some of the most common dishes include thukpas, noodles, tomato achar (pickle ), Gundruk and Sinki soups, Bamboo shoot, fermented soybean, rice and other products that suit to its cold weather. Momos (dumplings) most loved food of Sikkimese and even it is loved and most eating food by tourists. Non-vegetarians in Sikkim chooses mostly fish, beef, and pork. Sikkim cuisines are healthy as they prefer boiled food over fried and spicy food. Drinks like beer, whiskey, and rum are common to take along with the food. Crops of Sikkim mainly include wheat, barley, buckwheat, finger millet, potato, and soybeans etc.
Art and Crafts
We can see the interference of the north-eastern area in the arts & crafts of Sikkim. There are many forms of art & crafts present in this state. Most of the people of Sikkim live in rural areas where we can see the old tradition of making various utility object. We can witness some of the famous handicrafts of Sikkim are canvas wall hanging, choksee table, woollen carpet and so on. There is also an Institute named Institute of Cottage industries for the development of cottage industries in the state and we can see several other handicrafts made up of bamboo and cane. The excellent craftsmanship of this marvellous state, especially women who are amazing weavers attracts a lot of tourists and there is a huge demand for handmade papers and carpets of Sikkim all over the country.
Music and Dance
We can see several folk dances and folk songs which are an inveterate part of the culture of Sikkim. The tribal dance showcases the culture and tradition of the community and most of them are celebrated with prospect depicting the harvest season. These tribal and folk dances are accompanied by soothing traditional music with traditional masks, bright costumes, chanting and traditional musical instruments. Some of the famous dance of Sikkim are Chi Ramu, Yu Mista, Kagyed Dance, Rechungma, Tashi Zaldha, Gha To Kito, Be Yu Mista, Gnungmala Gnunghey, Enchey Chaam and Lu Khangthamo which are the best way to witness the culture, custom and tradition of Sikkimese people.
There are many different communities in Sikkim and we can see the influence in the costumes of each community. Men of the Lepcha community wear a white pyjama called Thokro-Dum which is stretched to the calves and wear a shirt and cap known as Yenthatse and Shambo. Men of Bhutia community wear costumes same as of Lepcha known as Bakhu. Bakhu is basically a long robe worn by people of Bhutia community which is basically a long robe which is worn with the waistcoat called Jya Jya. The Sikkimese women of Lepcha drape themselves with cosy and smooth dress up to the ankle with a very loose blouse called as Tago. But the women of the Bhutia community prefer regular costume Pangden which is a stripy apron. The women of Sikkim wear a dress if vibrant colours with very fascinating gold ornaments.
As the Sikkim is a state of greenery and is more close to nature, it is different from other states the hustle-bustle like cities are very rare. Hence the main occupation of Sikkim is Agriculture, main crops of the Sikkim are cardamom, tea, and ginger, some other crops are also grown here like Mandarin orange, guava, mango, banana and turmeric. Sikkim is rich with natural beauty which makes it the best tourist destination hence some of the people are in the tourism occupation. Aqua-culture is also an important economic activity in the rural area.
There are numerous festivals celebrated in Sikkim whole year. As most of the people of the Sikkim follows Buddhism, Buddhist festivals are celebrated with huge joy and a lot of pomp. Several famous monasteries of Sikkim are used for the huge celebration of the festivals with lively and vibrant music and dances. The most famous ritual dance performed by the people of Sikkim is Chaam which is performed with the help of the rhythm of musical instruments, vibrant traditional dresses and colourful masks adorned with sparkling jewels and ceremonial swords. Some of the most famous festivals of Sikkim are Saga Dawa, Losar Festival, Lhabab Dunchen Festival, Lasoong Festival, Phang Lhabsol, Dasain Festival, Bumchu Festival, Hee Bermiok Tourism Festival and Tihar Festival.
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