Unarguably one of the most beautiful places in India, travelling to Sikkim is a delight because the people are sweet and warm and the monasteries and ropeways are a delight for solo travelers, families, friends and kids.
Sikkim wears their cultural hat high with pride. It is also considered the queen of culture, heritage and dance forms. Just like Rajasthan has history engraved on its walls with royalty in Hawa Mahal Palace, pride in Udaipur's City Palace, and honor and war wounds in the ones in Chittorgarh Fort and Bhangarh Forts, Sikkim also has a rich dance culture with its unique list of festivals.
Here are some of the best dances of Sikkim, deeply rooted in the Sikkimese culture:
There are three ethnic communities in Sikkim - Bhutia, Lepcha and Nepalis, and all three of them are responsible for the colorful variety of dances of Sikkim. The music and folk dances of Sikkim, are just a visual representation of the beautiful landscapes of the country, marking the beginning of the harvest season, and bringing in luck and prosperity for the North Eastern people.
Dances of Sikkim: Lepcha Community
The meaning of Chu is 'Snow Range' and Faat stands for 'worship'. So this dance form is performed to worship Mt. Kanchenjunga as the locals consider this as their guardian deity. This is a ritualistic dance where the dancers carry bamboo leaves and lamps and dance along with singing godly and devotional songs.
This dance form replicates dance steps as sowing, reaping and harvesting of paddy. Musical instruments like flute, drum and cymbal are used to make melodious tunes on which the old and young people of the Lepcha community dance.
3. Tendong Lho Rum Faat
This dance form mimics the Lepcha folklore in lyrical form. They believe that dancing together will save people from the onslaught of the mighty, mountainous rivers. It is believed that people living in the Tendong hill in Souhern Sikkim danced and offered their prayers to god to pause the rising levels of water. Legend says that god flew down in the form of a bird and sprinkled sacred millet beer thereby decreasing the level of water and giving the locals a sigh of relief.
Dances of Sikkim: Nepali Community
1. Chyap Brung
This is a traditional music instrument shaped like a dholak of the Limboo community in Sikkim. Male dancers hand this around their necks and beat the drum to create music to which women and youth in the community dance.
The Damai community performs this dance form with the use of 9 musical instruments that include 2 types of shehnai, 2 turhi, 2 nagaras, 2 small dhols and a cymbal. This dance form is performed on happy and celebratory occasions like weddings.