Sikkim: The Melting Pot of Good Old Traditions
Sikkim forms an amalgamation of people belonging to various different spheres of life. Though Sikkim is a small province of India, it forms the origin of some indigenous and unique traditions and customs.
Sikkim enjoys prominence as it is the home to the world’s highest mountain Khangchendzonga which towers to an amazing height of 8585 metres from the sea level. Khangchendzonga is revered by the people of Sikkim as an important deity.
Sikkim nurtures people belonging to many different religions, castes, creeds, customs and traditions. A peep into the ancient history of Sikkim reveals that the land was occupied predominantly by three tribes: Naong, Chang and Mon. Later on, as time passed and civilizations grew and expanded the people of various other origins came to occupy the land in harmony with the aboriginals.
The unique traditions and customs of the nearby land of Lepchas, Nagas from Tibet, Bhutias or the Buddhist descendants from the land of Tibet and Nepalese contribute to a significant composition of Sikkim population.
Unique Traditions and Fascinating Customs
Sikkim tour packages offer a plethora of varying indulgences in the form of traditional folk dances, myriad curious customs and fascinating traditions emerging from the ways of life of people belonging to various different tribes and castes. The most striking splendour and amazement lies in the exuberant celebrations of the local religious festivals that showcase the famous and ceremonial mask dance.
These masked spectacles are presented by the monks with supreme enthusiasm. The dance costumes and styles and accessorized by shining swords and sparkling jewellery that add glitter to the performance. These dances are usually performed to the beats of the resounding drums and trumpeting of horns.
Saga Dawa celebrated by the Mahayana sect of Buddhism is an example where these brilliant masked dances are showcased. Devotees reach the monasteries to offer butter lamps accompanied by ardent prayers for peace, prosperity and well-being. The devotees also go around the town of Sikkim in colourful procession while the monks chant holy scriptures. Another spectacle is created during this festival by the glowing of the hundreds of butter lamps on the water of the lake along with deep-throated resounding chanting of the Buddhist devotees and monks.
The Incredible Festivals
The simple-hearted and simple-minded people of Sikkim are rooted to the soil. They consider the forms of nature such as the mountains, rivers, forests and others to be divine. They find the presence of Almighty in all natural forms. They worship and revere the spirit of Nature.
The festival of Phang Labsol demonstrates this belief of the people of Sikkim. In this festival, they express their gratitude to the mighty Mountain Kanchendzonga whom they look upon as the Protector or Guardian Angel. Dasian festival is akin to the most commonly known Hindu festival of Dusshera and is celebrated during the months of September-October. This festival is symbolical of the victory of good over evil.
Diwali is also celebrated in Sikkim on the 10th day after Dasian Festival. A very unique and remarkable dance form of Kagyat is performed every 28th or 29th day of the Tibetan calendar. Some other major festivals celebrated by the Sikkim populace are Losoong, Namoong, Labab Duchen, Yuma-Sam-Manghim, Tendong-Iho-Rum-Fat and many others.
Myriad Castes and Creeds of Sikkim Population
The people of Sikkim are a perfect blend of various different castes and creeds. Lepchas, Bhutias, Nepalis all live in harmony under the co-existence of the benign statehood. According to population composition survey, Lepcha population comprises 13%, Bhutia population form 16% and Nepali is 13%.
Sikkim State Language
Nepali is the official language of this north-east province Sikkim (Sikkimese). You will see the zero sign of Hindi Language while the prevalent sets of language are Kafle, Lepcha, Limbu and many others.
Traditional food of Sikkim
Each region will have a typical cuisine of its own. No trip of a beautiful destination gets completed without experimenting with the regional food of that place. People of Sikkim love their food! The staple food grain Sikkim is rice. One of their most popular snacking or delicacies is momos that are dumplings made of stuffed meat, vegetables, cheese etc.
Among the major dishes that the people of Sikkim eat is Dal Bhat which is nothing other than boiled rice eaten with lentil soup and assorted with vegetable dish called tarkari and chutney. Similarly, among the Nepalese the most common dish is Dhindo by cooking flour with water.
Then there is the Gya Thuk or Thukpa, which is noodle soup prepared with vegetables or meat or both. Phagshapa is common among people with love for pork fat. This is dish prepared by stewed pork fat and radish in dry chillies. Bread-based dish called Sha Phaley is made from seasoned beef and cabbage.
Under the category of popular vegetarian dishes fall Gundruk and Sinki, which are primarily soups. Gundruk is made from mustard or spinach leaves and Sinki is made from radish. Some other favourite dishes can be named as shal-phaley, chowmein, fakthu, gack-go soup and wontons.
Sikkim Attire and Lifestyle
Each region will have a typical attire which will again vary between men and women. The current generation prefer wearing Western style clothing. The rural people still follow the traditional attire worn once by their ancestors. Thokro Dum or white pajama are worn by.
Women wear Dumvum, Dumdyam, Kho and Bhaku. Women wear a lot of jewellery too. Bulaki or nose ring is worn along with Diu or Gold Bangle and Joko or finger ring. Pharia is a traditional saree that comes in various shades and worn by women. Vermillion applied on the parting of hair by women is a symbol of having been married.
Sikkim Tour Packages uphold the very best and the most diverse cultural side of the society and a vacation in Sikkim calls for unlimited fun and memories.