Monday, May 5, 2014


Welcome back!

This post is going out for the dress of the Lepcha people.

They have their own independent and unique style of dress, that is colorful, comfy, and attractive, all without being flashy. 

(Lepcha dress)

The male clothing consists of pagi which is the striped cotton dress. The trousers, which are called tomoo, reach up to the calf, in between the ankle and knee. The purpose of this was so that field workers could easily get rid of leeches during the Monsoon season. 

(Lepchan dress)
Back in the day, Lepchas wouldn't wear shoes. Due to the unhygienic conditions in towns and cities today, they only stay bare feet up in the villages. 

Extra Extra!!

Hello! Welcome back!

If you have been keeping up with this blog from the beginning, you'll see that in my first post, which also happened to be my first ever blog post, I put up and introduction/index. Now according to that index the last post, which was the references post, was supposed to be the last post.  
I found some of what I have learned in my research about the Lepcha people to be quite interesting. So I've decided to just tack on a couple more posts. Hope you enjoy. 

Marriage Customs

"Naamko Bree" the literal meaning of this in Lepcha is 'uniting a man and woman in matirmony'. If you were to break it down either further 'Naamko' means union and 'Bree' means to twist two strands of thread into one. 
Divorce is not common among the people of Lepcha. 

(Lepchan couple)

Along with a long list of customary laws that a Lepchan couple and their families must follow, comes the tradition of getting married.
The process of getting married is usually dealt with by the parents of the bride and groom and a priest. The two sets of parents will meet with the priest who will check their horoscopes to see if they are compatible. If so, they set a wedding date and the rest is handled by the girls maternal uncle and the boys maternal uncle. 
The guys maternal uncle, along with other family members approach the girls maternal uncle with a ceremonial scarf and one rupee. If the girls uncle accepts this khada he is also accepting the marriage proposal. 

Thanks for reading!


Welcome back!

This post is entirely going to be dedicated to all the references I have used throughout this semester.
(I have also made the links "clickable")

Cultural Survival

Welcome Back!

This weeks posts is talking about cultural survival. 
But going back to the interview with Mickey from the last post, I decided look further into the hunger strikes and the protests against the hydroelectric dams. Because, this seems like a topic that would put the Lepcha culture in a predicament. 

Many people associated with the Lepcha culture refuse to move away from Sikkim. They want to stay where they have always been, and they want the hydroelectric dams to go away and stop harming their environment.

(Demonstrators along the Teesta River)

On June 10, 2012 the Sikkim government withdrew their plans to build four hydroelectric power plants along the Teesta River. There were a lot of factors that went into ultimately making this decision. Some factors included, environmental concerns, a very strong public opposition, and a lot of the apprehension came after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit this side of the region in 2011. 

(Teesta River)

Because of the Lepchans perseverance and refusal to move, they have in a sense moved forward by stopping the hydroelectric dams and could be potentially fatal to the rich biodiversity that is along the Teesta River.

Thanks for reading
Next time: References


Hello! Welcome back!

This time, its going to be a little different. Today's post is the interview.

Now before I dive right in, here's a little background information...

The person I interviewed was 16 year old Mickey. He lives in Sikkim and is currently is in school. I found Mickey while I was searching the "Lepcha" tag on Tumblr. He was really excited when I messaged him, and insisted that we talk on the phone, so he could practice his English on me. I was on board, until I realized that his English wasn't up to par. So forgive me, I tried interpret, to the best of my ability, what he said. 

(... after the formalities have been made)

Priya (P)- Anything interesting happening over there that you would like people to know about?

Mickey (M)- Everything is the same over here. People don't want the hydroelectric dams to be installed. People are going on hunger strikes, but nobody seems to care. 

(P)- That sounds scary, is it getting out of control? Is there violence as well?

(M)- Its not out of control. People just don't pay attention to the strikers anymore. No violence, just protest. 

(P)- Well its good that there's no violence involved... What is something that you like to do in your free time? 

(M)- After I have finished with my after school studies, there are many things I like to do. I like to hangout with my friends, or I like going on the Internet. My favorite websites are Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube. 

...Our conversation lasted a couple more minutes, but the overall gist I got from it was that Mickey was a very excited 16 year old boy, who felt like he was getting his 15 minutes of fame. So here's to you Mickey, my new Lepchan  friend. 

Thanks for reading, as always
Next time: Cultural Survival

Migration and Diaspora

Welcome back!

This time I am going to go more in depth on the migrations and diaspora of the Lepcha.

(Tibet Map)

       The migration and diaspora of the Lepcha first began long ago when they were believed to migrated down from Tibet. After making the trek down, the people of Lepcha settled in what is Sikkim, Nepal. After settling down in Nepal, the Lepcha community has not seen much movement else where. Because they are a community of only about 3,400 they tended to stay around the Himalayan Mountain region. 

(Tibetan Mountain Monastery)

          Although the Lepchan people are faced with the hardship of hydro electric planting; which will be further discussed in another post, another time, they still are persevering and refuse to move to relocate their families. 
(Sikkim hydroelectric dam)
Thanks for reading!
Next time: Interview


Welcome Back!

         This post is going to be dedicated to talking about the neighbors of the people of Lepcha. As I have mentioned so many times before, the people of Lepcha are indigenous people of Sikkim, Nepal. The current population stands as 13% Lepcha, 16% Bhutia, and 67% Nepali. I will be focusing this post on the people Bhutia and Nepal. 
(Map of Sikkim)

     The Bhutias are a group of people numbered around 70,300 located in Sikkim. They come from Tibetian ancestry and speak a Tibetian langauge that can be understood by other Tibetians. 
(Two Bhutia Couples) 

     Nepali people are.. well from Nepal. But earlier then that they were descendants of migrants from Kashmir, Tibet, India, Burma, and Yunnan. The total population for the Nepali people is around 35.15 million, with 29,519,114 people living in Nepal alone. There are three main ethnicity's within Nepal; Khas, Mongoloid, and mixed. The people of Lepcha rank around 0.02% with only 3,360 in population throughout Nepal. 

(Nepalese Landscape)

(Old Nepali Lady) 

     Thanks for reading!
Next time: Migrations