Sunday, October 21, 2018
Sikkim

People


The Nepali

The Nepali immigration in Sikkim started long after the Bhutia settlement. The Nepali community is composed of different sub-cultural stocks with considerable differences in physical characteristic and customs. Each tribe is sub-divided into many classes. The most important of these tribes are : Limta, Gurung, Magar, Rai, Tamang, Mewar etc. Of the caste Hindus, there are the Brahmins, Thakurs, Chettris etc. Among the low caste tradesman there are the Sarki, Kami,Damai etc. The Nepalese are spread throughout the east, south and west of Sikkim. They are mostly Hindus but some of them are Buddhists. They have terraced fields and also work on building roads. They are also good at trade and own many shops in the main Bazaar at Gangtok. They also work as Silversmiths.

The immigration of the Nepalese and their rapid expansion  has created a serious problem for the original inhabitants - the Lepchas and the Bhutias. The Nepalese are not only multiplying more rapidly in numbers but are also ahead in education which enables them to get jobs in government. While the Lepchas and Bhutias still prefer the traditional education in the monasteries, the Nepalese send their children to schools.

The Lepchas and  Bhutias are averse to cultivate waste lands. Nepalese plant maize which grows in abundance and is their staple food. The Nepalese children work from the age of five and when they are ten years of age are able to earn more than they consume. Their style of living is comparatively much economical. Their dress and diet are simple. They do not spend much money on marriage and festival. On the other hand, the Lepchas and Bhutias take rice with meat, if possible. Their dress is expensive. Above all, they have to support the monks, according to the religious custom, make occasional offerings, either in kind or cash to the 'gompa' and then pay a high fee to the priests for the various services rendered by them.

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