Bhutias and their Tradition
The Bhutias of North Sikkim includes Lachenpas and Lachungpas-the Bhutias who mainly resided in Lachen and Lachung areas. The Bhutia Language spoken by the Sikkimes Bhutias is a dialect of the Tibetan language. Lachenpas and Lachungpas have their own traditional legal system called “Dzumsa” (meaning meeting place of the people) headed by “Pipon” (Village headman). Even with the abolishing of Mondal Systems (A system where village headman called Mondal collects revenue from public and submits to government and also settles minor disputes) in other parts of Sikkim and coming up of Panchayeti system, the Dzumsa of North Sikkim has been given full protection by the government by deeming a status of Panchayet ward and the Pipon, a status of Panchayet. The Bhutia aristocrats are called Kazis and they were the part of Chogyal government before 1975 when Sikkim state was an independent Kingdom.
The Bhutia traditional dress called “Bakhu” which is a loose cloak type garment that is fastened at the neck on one side and near the waist with a cotton belt.Male members put ‘Bakhu’ with a loose trouser. The ladies use ‘Bakhu with a silken full sleeve blouse called “Honju” a loose gown type garment fastened near the waist tightly with a belt. In the front portion they tie a loose sheet of multi coloured woolen cloth made of special design. This is called “Pangdin” and is a symbol of a married woman.
Bhutias usually take rice with animal fat fried vegetables or meat. The other foods are “Momo”(steamed samosa with meat inside) and Thukpa (Noodles). “Zhero” and “Khabzay” are beautiful salty tusks prepared from flour during the festivals like Losar/Loosong.