Cultural Heritage of Sikkim | India

Sikkim is a renowned state of tourist attraction located in the north-eastern frontier of India. Ever since it enjoyed popularity in the 1930s, Sikkim has been a region that acquired a lot of anthropologic interest.

When you visit the state today, you are likely going to cross paths with locals who are generous, loving, and warm. Given that the state is neighbored by Bhutan, a lot of the cultural heritage is influenced by its people.

The known custom and rituals of Sikkim are diverse and draw inspiration from the people that inhabit the land. It is predominantly inhabited by three local inhabitants – the Lepchas, the Bhutias, and the Nepalese. Visiting the state with eSikkimtourism gives you all the details about the history of the state during the tours.

If you are inquisitive about the cultural heritage of Sikkim and want to know more about the people and their common habits, scroll down further into the article.

Who are the Local Inhabitants of Sikkim?

As we just mentioned, Sikkim is inhabited by three native groups of local people, which we will describe in detail down below:

1. The Lepchas

Lepchas are regarded as the original inhabitants or native people of Sikkim. The term translates to “Children of the Forest”, and has inhabited the state before the Bhutias and the Nepalese. It is said that the earliest tribe of Lepchas were believers of bone faith and mune faith, after which their faith was adapted to Buddhism and Christianity in the state.

The best way to explore the cultural heritage and rich history of Sikkim is by reading more about the Lepcha folklore, which is full of interesting tales and stories. Most of the Lepcha population of the state is localized in central Sikkim.

2. The Bhutias

The Bhutias are migrants who shifted from the Tibetan region in the fifteenth century. Unlike Lepchas, their popularity isn’t as concentrated or high in the state. Also, they generally live around Northern Sikkim, where they are known as Lachenpas and Lachungpas locally.

Their list of cultures and heritage is unique to the Lepchas. Their heritage has a heavy influence on the Tibetan culture and even the food has been influenced by the local food in Bhutan. The locals from the Bhutia group speak Sikkimese.

3. The Nepalese

If the name of the locals wasn’t a giveaway, it includes people who migrated to Sikkim from the state of Nepal. They are a very recent addition to the culture and heritage of the state and came a lot after the Lepchas and Bhutias. 

However, what was surprising was the fact that they migrated in troops and larger numbers, soon overtaking the other two groups. At the present date, around 80% of Sikkim’s population comprises the Nepalese people. 

One of the standout things that happened after the Nepalese migrated to Sikkim was that they introduced terraced farming practices. Also, when it comes to their religion and beliefs, Nepalese are orthodox Hindus with a very unique caste system they follow.

The locals wear an authentic garment known as Daura Suruwal for the men and Chow Bandi Choli for the women in the locality. 

What are the Languages Spoken in Sikkim?

Sikkim is a multilingual state, especially because it has a variety of local natives that co-exist in different parts of the area. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language, followed by Sikkimese and English. 

The incidence of English is also high because of the tourists that visit the state quite frequently. It makes conversations easy.

Like languages, Sikkim also follows a plethora of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Hinduism is the most commonly practiced religion in the state.

Final Words

If you are exploring Sikkim and its natural gaiety, explore the local spots because that’s what depicts the popularity of this place. 

From the language to the food, culture, and traditions, Sikkim is versatile and has a variety to pick out from. While you are visiting the state, ensure that you indulge in change, which is a very popular food that’s made from fermented millet.