is a country with varied cultures, and houses a host of various
in it, like, Nepali,Bengali,Bihari etc. Again all these communities
have their own castes
among them. Nepali community, too, has its own castes like
Bahun, Chettri, Newar, Gurung, Magar, Mukhia, Rai, Limbu,
Thami, Sarki, Biswakarma, etc.Each caste has its own culture,
by which it can be recognised.
in general celebrate the following two cultural festivals, which
important and common among the Nepali Community.
The first is the "Dashain" which is celebrated on the
Vijaya Dashami Day during
the months of October-November. This day is celebrated with
much fervour and excitement. Children and adults await this
day with eagerness, since they get to wear new clothes, and
eat delicious food. On this day the youngsters of a family
go to their elders to seek their blessings.
Tika is another celebration celebrated 15-20 days after
Dashain. It is the festival of brothers. It is celebrated
on the second day following Lakshmi Puja. Beautiful Rangolis
are prepared for respective brothers and fruits and flower-garlands
are kept by its side. It is the festival when sisters worship
their brothers. During the ceremony, the sister hands over the
fruits and garlands to her brother, who has to hold on to them,
as his sister puts the tika on his forehead and
touches his knees, shoulder and head, three times. She then
gives him a glass of milk and a boiled egg to eat as a part
of the ceremony. The fruits are kept aside and garlands are
worn by the brother. The usual meal is then served which has
to be eaten then.
W A R S :
place of origin of the Newars is the Kathmandu Valley. The
Newari language is influenced by the Sanskrit language,
and the tone and sound of it is like that of Tibeto-Burman.
The Newars have their own script, which is in Devanagiri
script style. For performing any religious functions, they
have their own Brahmins,from the Newar caste, called Gubajyu.
One of the most
and unique cultures of Newars is the marriage of their daughters
with a fruit "Bel" and is called Ihi. This marriage takes
place when the girl is of 7-9 years of age. The importance of
this marriage is that if the husband of a Newari girl dies,
she will not be termed a widow, since her first husband Bel
is still present. Another culture followed by the Newars is
the Mha Puja, or the worship of our body, which is celebrated
on the day following Lakshmi
E P C H A S :
birth place of the Lepchas is Sikkim. According to ancient
Lepcha folk-stories, the Lepcha script is believed to be
framed by five Lepcha Pundits, who were - Targay,Sayyum,
Goley,Tangrab and Dureang. This script
is similar to Mongol script.
is also said that the third ruler of Sikkim , Chagdor Namgyal
is the framer of the Lepcha script. Lepcha society has a lot
of folk songs and folk-stories. Among them the following five
folk songs are more commonly sung:
1. Muten-Chi - describes the birth
of Lepcha community, their society, their way of living, etc.
2. Dambrajo - it is an agriculture-related song and is
sung during the reaping time of their crops.
3. Pyasu Lohma Lolima - this song is meant to give strength
4. Thala Thap Suki Thap - in this song, Mother Nature
is praised and described.
5. Phenlyok - describes the heroic deeds of their community
in their earlier wars
In Lepcha society
the following four folk-stories are famous. They are
1.Phemrisa - relates to festivals.
2.Go-Bungsa - relates to love.
3.Yen-Bungsa - relates to humour.
4.Yu-Muksa - relates to sorrow.
the following cultural festivals:
1.Nam Bun- celebration of their New Year day.
2.Kum-Chum-Jhong-Bu - is celebrated from March to April.
Water is offered to Mt. Kanchenjunga, because according to ancient
Lepcha stories, it is believed that, the first man and woman
on Earth appeared from Mt. Kanchenjunga.
3.Tyendong- According to ancient folk-stories thousand
of years ago when the earth was drowned in water a man and a
woman had to come to a hill near Darjeeling named Tyendong
to take shelter. This festival is celebrated in memory of them.
4.Sakyu- This festival is celebrated in the month of
November to worship the divine powers, with the new crops, with
the belief that their agricultural products may increase in
I R A T S
Kirat community is counted among the world's ancient communities.
The mention of it can be found in the Rig Veda too. The
Kirats had created their own civilised society before the Aryans
reached Sapta Sindhu, and was ruled by their leader Shambar.
But after losing all their territories, in the 40 years of long
war, they headed in search of new lands. Later they resided
in the Himalayan region of Nepal, Sikkim and India. They usually
speak in Tibeto-Burman language style as that of Newar, Magar,
Gurung, Murmi, Sunar, Lepcha and Toto and also in the style
spoken in East Nepal by Dhimal, Thami, Limbu, Yakkha, Khambu
Kirats' lifestyle and their cultural activities are all governed
by Mundhum. Mundhum is the folk- literature of the Kirats'
and is one of the world's most beautiful epic, which has been
passed from time immemorial through verbal tradition. In Mundhum,
the knowledge of the universe received by their forefathers,
the beginning of life on earth, the heroic deeds of their forefathers
as human, and their extraordinary works as above human, have
M B U S
folk-literature of Limbus is very rich and because of this,
the Limbus residing in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Assam, Nepal
and Bhutan, have their own identity because of immense belief
in "Yumawad". Their traditions and cultures are still
alive. Yumawad is a type of religious scripture,
which have been contiouously kept alive by their religious
head and handed over from generation to generation verbally.
has been a rich tradition of Limbus singing their folk-songs.
Their folk-songs can be divided into the following groups:
Khyali- It is a conversational song but
young girls and boys sing it with poetic expressioon and in
a very sweet tone.
2. Love Songs-
Sakpa Palam Samlo- This song
is sung during the Kusakpa Yeaalang dance in fast beat.
b) Kemba Palam Samlo- This
song is sung during the Kemba Yeaalang dance in slow beat.
c) Domke Akma Palam
Samlo- It is sung when doing the normal chores
and also during the Domke Akma dance.
3. Hakpare Samlo- this song is sung by middle-aged men
and women, who have interest in Mundhum and who are well-known
in it. One can find spiritual and worldly specialities in this
4. Nisammang Sewa Samlo- This song is sung during religious
functions. It is a devotional song. Dancing is one of the important
aspect of the life of Limbus. Based on acting-style, the following
types of dances are performed:
Dance performed after origin of life: This type of dance
is known as Ke Lang or Chyabrung Lang. The dance
imitates the actions of animals, insects and any form of living
ii) Agricultural dance: Under this type of dance there
a) Yea Kakma- This dance is performed after night falls
after the crops are reaped.
b) Damke Akme- This dance is performed while sowing crops.
War dance: This form of dance is known as 'Nahangma'
and is performed during "Nahangma"- their religious function.
In this dance, only adult males and "Shamani" priests
can take part. During the dance, they carry a sword in their
right hand and a shield in their left hand, or an arrow in their
right hand and a bow in their left hand.
Historical dance: In this dance form, the historical
war of ten Limbus fought in Aambepojoma Kamketlungma
Mysterious and ancient dance performed by Shamani priests:
this type of dance is known as Yagrangsing Lang, Phungsok Lang,
Tongsing Lang. The dance is performed only by the Shamani priests
viz. Fedangma, samba, Yewa and Yema.
M A N G S :
traditional residential area of Tamangs is the hilly area between
Budigandaki and Likhukhola in Nepal. The style of language is
from the family of Tibeto-Burman. It is not exactly known, when
the Tamang language was used in written form. Nevertheless,
the tradition of writing books on social tradition called Tamba
Kaiten, on generation - tradition called Dongrap and
Pharap, is believed to be very old. From historical times,
it has been the tradition of Tamangs, to show their cultural
and religious play called Chhechu. It is a satiric play,
and the main aim of this play is to show social discrepancy,
government's intervention and to oppose against injustice.
G A R S
Magar Community hails mostly from Palpa, Syaugja and Tanhu areas
of Nepal. The language spoken by them falls under Tibeto-Burman
branch. The Magars are traditionally Hindus and they worship
their gods and goddesses in their own way. The Prasad
(offering) for their gods and goddesses is made up of local
wine and meat.
a Magar boy becomes five years old, his hair is shaved off by
his maternal uncle.Similarly, when a Magar girl reaches five
years , she is given Ghagar. It is a type of skirt. These
activities are undertaken after considering the auspicious day,
as laid down in their religious scriptures.