Culture, Music And Folk Dances
Sikkim’s rich cultural tapestry
Sikkim, a beautiful state nestled in the Himalayas, is home to a vibrant blend of cultures and traditions. The three main ethnic communities – Bhutias, Lepchas, and Nepalese – have each contributed to the unique cultural identity of Sikkim.
The Bhutias, known for their love for Buddhism, have a rich heritage of festivals, music, and dances. The annual Losar festival, celebrated in the month of February, is a grand affair with colorful masks, traditional dances, and prayers. The Kagyed Dance, performed during the festival, showcases the stories of Buddhism through masked performances.
The Lepchas, the indigenous inhabitants of Sikkim, are known for their deep connection with nature. Their festivals often revolve around agriculture and harvest, with dances like the Zo Mal Lok depicting the sowing and reaping of paddy fields. The sacred Chamling mountain, considered a guardian of the Lepcha people, is the site of the Chamling festival, celebrated with prayers and offerings.
The Nepalese community, the largest in Sikkim, brings its own unique cultural flavors to the state. The Maruni dance, a lively folk dance performed by men and women, is a popular feature of festivals and celebrations. The Tamang Selo dance, accompanied by the rhythmic beats of the daphmhu, showcases the community’s love for music and dance.
Despite the diversity of religions practiced in Sikkim – Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism – there exists a spirit of religious harmony. The state’s motto, “Yeh Des Hai Sikkim, Ye Sabka Desh Hai” (This is Sikkim, This is the land of all), reflects the inclusivity and respect for all faiths.
Sikkim stands out as a state where gender equality is deeply ingrained in the culture. Women enjoy equal rights and opportunities, and their contributions to society are recognized and respected.
Sikkim’s rich cultural heritage is also reflected in its traditional handicrafts. The Handicrafts and Handloom Institute, established by the state government, preserves and promotes traditional crafts like carpets, wood-carved furniture, and thangka paintings.
A melting pot of cultures
Sikkim’s cultural diversity is a testament to its harmonious coexistence of different communities and traditions. The state’s unique cultural identity is a product of this rich tapestry, making it a truly captivating destination for visitors.
|Maruni/Kauda/Chutkey/Samala/Sorathi/Lakhay/Tappa/Tampoli/Tamang Selo/Tara Devi/Channrung/Saily/Manji Dance/Ghatu/Sherpa Nach/Teej/Bhailoni/Dhan Nach
|Yak Dance/Singcham/Mask Dance/Lossong na
|Tuktaam loak(Zow tyuem loak) daan jaarney ko dance/ Pow Pakok lyok/Foran loak/Kuhryokbong Laam kor/ Oung hor alok/Surveng aopp/Suhu tuktaam
|Dohori, Chhattisri, Chautari, Lok Geet, Panchali, Chhaya Nach Geet
|Folk songs and music typically performed during festivals and celebrations.
|Lhamo, Sherpa Lok Geet, Rumdung, Densum, Ranjung, Giling
|Traditional songs and music associated with religious ceremonies, storytelling, and daily life.
|Tamang Selo, Chyabrung, Mun, Denzong, Rumsong, Chamrang
|Traditional songs and music that reflect the Lepchas’ deep connection to nature and their rich cultural heritage.