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|Regions with significant populations|
|Sikkimese, Nepali, Dzongkha, Tibetan|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Bhotiya, Sherpa people|
The Bhutia (བོད་རིགས; Sikkimese : Drenjongpa / Drenjop ; Tibetan : འབྲས་ལྗོངས་པ་, Wylie : Bras-ljongs-pa; "inhabitants of Sikkim"; in Bhutan: Dukpa) are a community of Sikkimese people of Tibetan ancestry, who speak Lhopo or Sikkimese, a Tibetan dialect fairly mutually intelligible with standard Tibetan. In 2001, the Bhutia numbered around 60,300. Bhutia here refers to people of Tibetan ancestry.
The language spoken by the Bhutias in Sikkim is Sikkimese, which is 85% mutually intelligible with Tibetan and Dzongkha, the language of Bhutan. Most Bhutias practice the Nyingma school, followed by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Bhutias are spread out over Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal and districts of Kalimpong and Darjeeling in India.
The ancestors of the Bhutia migrated from Tibet to north eastern Nepal, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and other parts of modern-day Nepal, India and Bhutan. They migrated through the different passes ("La" in Tibetan means "hill") in the Himalayas. Geographical indications in the name of Bhutias' last names are common. In Northern Sikkim, for example, where the Bhutias are the majority inhabitants, they are known as the Lachenpas or Lachungpas, meaning inhabitants of Lachen (Tibetan : ལ་ཆེན་; "big pass") or Lachung (Tibetan : ལ་ཆུང་; "small pass") respectively.
Bhutia aristocrats were called Kazis after similar landlord titles in neighboring regions, especially in modern-day Bangladesh. This feudal system was an integral part of the Chogyal monarchy prior to 1975, when Sikkim was an independent monarchy; the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Sikkim before the mid-1970s plebiscite was the Bhutia Namgyal dynasty. Among the Bhutias, the Lachenpas and Lachungpas have their own traditional legal system called the "Dzumsa" which means the meeting place of the people. The Dzumsa is headed by the village headman known as the Pipon. People of North Sikkim have been given full protection by the state government by deeming a status of Panchayat ward and the Pipon, a status of Panchayat head.
The traditional outfit of Bhutias is the bakhu (same like the Tibetan [[chuba]), which is a loose cloak type garment fastened at the neck on one side and near the waist with a silk/cotton belt. Male members array the bakhu with loose trousers. Womenfolk wear the bakhu with a silken full sleeve blouse called a honju; a loose gown type garment fastened tight near the waist with a belt. In the front portion, a loose sheet of multicolored woolen cloth with exotic geometric designs is tied. This is called the pangden and is a symbol of a married woman. This traditional outfit is complemented by embroidered leather boots worn by both men and women.
Bhutia women enjoy a much higher status than their counterparts from other communities. Both women and men have a weakness for gold in its purest form and, traditional jewelry is mostly made of 24 carat (100%) gold.
In Sikkim, the Bhutias are mostly employed in the government sector, in agriculture, and increasingly in the business arena as well. In the district of Darjeeling, Bhutias are often employed in government and commerce. Bhutias practise intermarriage within their clans and follow a very hierarchical system of bride and groom selection. Clan discrimination is widespread, and marriage outside the community is looked down upon.
The Bhutias are followers of Vajrayana Buddhism, mainly the Nyingma and Kagyu schools. The main festivals observed by them are Losar . The first week of February is usually the time of Losar as it marks the start of the Tibetan New Year. Fire dances are common in the evenings during Losar. Losoong is usually celebrated as the end of the Tibetan year and falls at the end of the tenth Tibetan lunar month (usually December). It is the most important festival among the Bhutias in India, and is marked by the traditional Cham dancing and merry-making. Losoong is celebrated across the monasteries in Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim. In Sikkim, during the festival of Losoong, often dance forms depict narrativized tales from the life of Padmasambhava or Guru Ugyen.
Monasteries of the Bhutias dot various places in India, most notably the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim and the Bhutia Busty Monastery or Karma Dorjee Chyoling Monastery, which is also the oldest Monastery in Darjeeling.
Bhutia is also the surname of Marwari people of Brahmin caste. They worship deity Ramdev Pir, Khatushyam and Salasar Balaji as Ishta-deva. Although historically associated with people of the Brahmin varnas, the name has been widely adopted by other communities.
A traditional Bhutia house is called a "khim" and is usually rectangular.
The Bhutias have a stone structure outside the house which is used for burning incense. It is called "sangbum." "Sang" means incense and "bum" means vase; the shape of the structure is like a vase. It is used for burning sang, a sacred offering to the deities. The deities are offered scented dried leaves/stalks of rhododendron anthopogon, juniperus recurva, rhododendron setosum or incense sticks made of pine.
Bhutia people traditionally eat rice with animal-fat-fried vegetables or meat, usually pork or beef, and occasionally mutton or chicken. Other well-known foods are momo, steamed meat dumplings, and the thukpa, noodles in broth. The Losar and Loosong are two among many festivals celebrated by the Bhutia community. Almost all Bhutia festivals and holidays hold Buddhist religious significance. They are also known to utilize over 70 species of animal, fungi, and plant.Chhaang is the favourite drink of the Bhutias, and increasingly of other communities coexisting with the Bhutias. It is made of fermented barley or millet, and served in a bamboo container called the Tongba. Tea with milk and sugar, and butter tea, are also served on religious or social occasions.
The Bhutia have a rich tradition of dances, songs, and folktales. The popular Bhutia folk dances are Denzong-Neh-Na, Ta-Shi-Yang-Ku, Tashi Shabdo, Guru-Chinlap, Singhi Chham and Yak Chham.
Musical instruments used are Flute, Yangjey, Drum and Yarka.
Within the Dominion of India, the Bhutias as recognized as Scheduled Tribes in the states of Sikkim, West Bengal and Tripura.
On August 26, 2015, during her visit to Darjeeling, the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal Government, announced the formation of a separate development board for the Bhutia community.
Kalimpong is a town and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft). The city is the headquarters of the Kalimpong district. Kalimpong district region comes under Gorkhaland Territorial Administration which is an autonomous governing body within the state of West Bengal. The Indian Army's 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the city.
The Lepcha are also called the Rongkup meaning the children of God and the Rong, Mútuncí Róngkup Rumkup, and Rongpa, are among the indigenous peoples of Sikkim, India and Nepal, and number around 80,000. Many Lepcha are also found in western and southwestern Bhutan, Tibet, Darjeeling, the Mechi Zone of eastern Nepal, and in the hills of West Bengal. The Lepcha people are composed of four main distinct communities: the Renjóngmú of Sikkim; the Dámsángmú of Kalimpong, Kurseong, and Mirik; the ʔilámmú of Ilam District, Nepal; and the Promú of Samtse and Chukha in southwestern Bhutan.
Gangtok is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town's population of 100,000 are from different ethnicities such as Bhutia, Lepchas and Indian Gorkhas. Within the higher peaks of the Himalaya and with a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.
The history of Sikkim, begins with contacts between ancient Hindus and Tibetans, followed by the establishment of a Buddhist kingdom or Chogyal in the 17th century. Sikkim emerged as a polity in its own right against a backdrop of incursions from Tibet and Bhutan, during which the kingdom enjoyed varying degrees of independence. In the early 18th century, the British Empire sought to establish trade routes with Tibet, leading Sikkim to fall under British suzerainty until independence in 1947. Initially, Sikkim remained an independent country, until it merged with India in 1975 after a decisive referendum. Many provisions of the Indian constitution had to be altered to accommodate the international treaties and between Sikkim and India.
Losar is a festival in Tibetan Buddhism. The holiday is celebrated on various dates depending on location tradition. The holiday is a new year's festival, celebrated on the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar, which corresponds to a date in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. In 2020, the new year commenced on the 24th of February and celebrations ran until the 26th of the same month. It also commenced the Year of the Male Iron Rat.
Darjeeling District is the northernmost district of the state of West Bengal in eastern India in the foothills of the Himalayas. The district is famous for its hill station Darjeeling tea. Darjeeling is the district headquarters.
The Enchey Monastery was established in 1909 above Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in the Northeastern Indian state. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The monastery built around the then small hamlet of Gangtok became a religious centre. The location was blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a renowned exponent of tantric (adept) art in Buddhism with flying powers; initially a small Gompa was established by him after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site. The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the "Solitary Monastery". Its sacredness is attributed to the belief that Khangchendzonga and Yabdean – the protecting deities – reside in this monastery. As, according to a legend, Guru Padmasambhava had subdued the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahākāla here. In view of this legend, the religious significance of Enchey Monastery is deeply ingrained in every household in Gangtok. It is also believed that these powerful deities always fulfil the wishes of the devotees.
Limbu is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Limbu people of eastern Nepal and India as well as expatriate communities in Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada and the US. The Limbu refer to themselves as Yakthung and their language as Yakthungpan. Yakthungpan has four main dialects: Phedape, Chhathare, Tambarkhole and Panthare dialects.
Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje known as Terchen Drodül Lingpa and as Dudjom Rinpoche, is considered by Tibetan Buddhists to be from an important Tulku lineage, a renowned Tertön treasure revealer and a direct incarnation of Padmasambhava and of Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904). He is a Nyingma householder, yogi, and a Vajrayana and Dzogchen master, and according to disciple Khenpo Twewang Dongyal is referred to by them as "His Holiness" and as a "master of masters".
The Sikkimese language, also called Sikkimese Tibetan, Bhutia, or Drenjongké, Dranjoke, Denjongka, Denzongpeke and Denzongke, belongs to the Southern Tibetic languages. It is spoken by the Bhutia in Sikkim, India and in parts of Mechi Zone, Nepal. The Sikkimese people refer to their own language as Drendzongké and their homeland as Drendzong.
The History of Darjeeling covers the history of Darjeeling town and its adjoining hill areas belonging to Sikkim, but eventually part of British India so now in the Indian state of West Bengal, which is intertwined with the history of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Bengal and Great Britain. Part of the state of Sikkim, Darjeeling became part of an important buffer state between Nepal and Bhutan. The British, using the area as a sanitorium, found that the climate provided excellent tea-cultivating conditions and soon began to grow tea on the hills of Darjeeling. Darjeeling tea remains a world-renowned export from Darjeeling.
This is a list of topics related to Tibet.
The culture of Darjeeling, India, is quite diverse and unique. The two predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Dashain, Tihar, Buddha Jayanti, Christmas, Holi, Ram Navami, etc. are the main festivals. Besides, the diverse ethnic populace of the town also celebrates several local festivals. Buddhist ethnic groups such as the Lepchas, Bhutias, Sherpas, Yolmos, Gurungs, and Tamangs celebrate new year called Losar in January/February, Maghe Sankranti, Chotrul Duchen, and Tendong Lho Rumfaat. The Kiranti Rai people (Khambus) celebrate their annual Sakela festivals of Ubhauli and Udhauli. Deusi and Bhaileni are songs performed by men and women, respectively, during the festival of Tihar. All these provide a "regional distinctness" of Darjeeling's local culture from the rest of India. Darjeeling Carnival, initiated by a civil society movement known as The Darjeeling Initiative, was a ten-day carnival held yearly during winter that portrayed the rich musical and cultural heritage of Darjeeling Hills as its central theme. Every year, cultural festivals are held in the town of Darjeeling and its surrounding areas.
Pakim is a town in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is the headquarters of the Pakyong Administrative division and hosts many government offices. Pakyong was a small settlement until the central government approved a new greenfield airport, to be constructed by Punj Lloyd.
The indigenous peoples of Sikkim include the Lepchas, Limbus, Nepalis and Bhutias.
The Pemayangtse Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Pemayangtse, near Pelling in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, located 110 km west of Gangtok. Planned, designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1647, it is one of the oldest and premier monasteries of Sikkim, also the most famous in Sikkim. Originally started as a small Lhakhang, it was subsequently enlarged during the reign of the third Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal and Khenchen Rolpai Dorjee in the year 1705 and consecrated by the third Lhatsun Chenpo Dzogchen Jigme Pawo in the year 1710 C.E. The monastery follows the Nyingma Order of Tibetan Buddhism and controls all other monasteries of that Order in Sikkim. The monks of this monastery are normally chosen from the Bhutias of Sikkim.
Kabi Lungchok is a historic site of significance, which is located 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of Gangtok on the Northern Highway in northeastern Indian state of Sikkim. The historicity of the site is attributed to the fact that the Lepchas, the ethnic tribals of Sikkim and Bhutias, the immigrants from southern Bhot who settled down in Sikkim from the 14th century onwards, ceremonially signed a "Treaty of Blood Brotherhood" with religious fervour. Stone pillars mark the location where the treaty was signed. The Treaty was signed at Kabi Lungchok by the Bhot King, Khye Bumsa representing the Bhutias and the Lepcha Chief Thekong Tek. The literal meaning of 'Kabi Lungchok', pronounced ‘Kayu sha bhi Lungchok’, is "stone erected by our blood." Life-size statues of the Lepcha and Bhutia 'blood-brothers' who signed the treaty has been erected here.
The Kho or Bakhu is a traditional dress worn by Bhutia, ethnic Sikkimese people of Sikkim and Nepal. It is a loose, cloak-style garment that is fastened at the neck on one side and near the waist with a silk or cotton belt similar to the Tibetan chuba and to the Ngalop gho of Bhutan, but sleeveless.
Ging Gompa is a Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. The monastery is located in Ging, about 10 km (6.2 mi) from Darjeeling. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Darjeeling and is subscribed to the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. On historical grounds, the monastery is still under the administrative control of the Government of Sikkim.
Losoong is the Sikkimese New Year, of the Bhutia tribe, celebrated every year in the month of December.