The Bhutias speak in Bhutia language among themselves and they practice Buddhism. Lepchas speak a language called “Rongring” and their own Lepcha script “Mutanchi Rong Aming” with 28 consonants and eight conjoint letters.
The Bhutia folk songs are:
- Zhung- Lhu folk song: A group folk song sung during Zhung-Shey folk dance making a circular during a wedding ceremony, house –warming ceremony and Losoong festivals.
- Tey-Lhu folk song: A folk song sung by one or more persons in line up manner during Tey-Zhey folk dance.
The Bhutia Folk Dances and Festivals:
Zhung – Shey Dance: This is a group dance in a circular manner with the tune of the country songs called “Zhung-Lhu.” Performed during the main ceremony of Ngen-Chhan Thung (wedding ceremony), Kyimsa Tashi (house warming ceremony), and in Losoong (New Year of the Bhutia’s calendar).
Tey-Zhey Dance: This performed by either one or more persons in lined up manner or sometimes moving forward and backward with the tune of folk songs called “Tey- Lhu”
Festivals: The major Bhutia festivals celebrated are Losoong, Pang-Lhasol, Kagyed Dance, Sagadawa, Drukpa- Tsezhi, Lha-Bap- Dhuechen, Guru Rimpoche’s Thurungkar Tsechu, Bumchu, etc. They also participate in festivals of other communities like Dasai, Tihar.
Folk songs are broadly divided into the following categories:
- Lenchyovom: Love songs;
- Thanung Savom: Songs of humor;
- Asyot Vom: Ceremonial songs;
- Rum Kat Vom: Songs relating to agriculture;
- Bivom: Songs sung during marriages;
- Lyang -Niro- Chyko-Vom: Patriotic Songs;
- Apart-Apok- Vom: Songs of planting season
- Aprya-Vom: prayer to god
Folk Dances of Lepchas:
- Zomak-Lok: Dance relating to agriculture;
- Fen-Lok: War dance;
- Pasyalyon or Guru-lok- Historical dance;
- Yaba-lok: Mystic dance and Dance relating to Mythology
- Naam Soong or Namboon: It is the Lepcha New Year, which falls every year in the month of Lepcha calendar (Kurnyit Lavo) during the last week of December to the first week of January.
- Tendong Lho Rum Faat festival: Celebrated on 8th August every year, it is connected with the legend of overflowing which nearly swallowed Sikkim which was ultimately stopped by Rum (God) and saved Sikkim from drowning.
- Muk Zikding Rum Faat: Connected with nature and its greenery. It is celebrated in February every year. It is the season of sprouting of all vegetation, trees, and shrubs.
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