When I was in Rabangla, South Sikkim, this man walked up and down the road, which ran the length upto Pelling in West Sikkim, and was right in front of my hotel...After a couple of days this man soon started havng small conversation with me, and then one day in the afternoon as he was going downhill to deposit all the gathered greens that he collected all morning for a mere sum of Indian rupees 30/= only, I came to know that once upon a time was used to a lap of luxury, owning quite a few hut-ments on this very road, but his addiction to liquor proved to be hazardous for him as he is practically penniless now, a derelict...still I felt so sorry for him... he calls himself BHUSHAN, and by birth he is a Lepcha...Regarding the origin of the term 'Lepcha';"The word 'Lepcha', most probably a geo-racial term, is phonetically an elongated and much evolved form of the Bhutanese Dzongkha word (even might be of Chhokey origin) “La – chhu” which the Drukpa Bhutanese might have used to geographically identify the early people of Sikkim and Kalimpong in the bygone ages of their long connection with Tibet via the Chumbey Valley since the time of Sabdrung Nagawang Namgyal, the founding father of Drug-Yul. In Dzongkha Language, as systematized on Chhokey, “la” means hill or mountain and “chhu” means river or water; significantly, therefore, the compound word La- chhu indicates to people living in the valleys bounded by mountains and watered by rivers."
The origin of the Lepcha is unknown. Many research scholars have come up with theories regarding the origin of the Lepcha people, but the Lepcha people themselves firmly believe that they did not migrate to the current location from anywhere, and are indigenous to the region. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language which some classify as Himalayish. Based on this, some anthropologists suggest they emigrated directly from Tibet to the north, or from Eastern Mongolia. They were even said to be from Japan or Korea, while others suggest a more complex migration that started in southeast Tibet, a migration to Thailand, Burma, or Japan, then a navigation of the Ayeyarwady River and Chindwin rivers, a crossing of the Patkoi range coming back west, and finally entering ancient India. While migrating westward through India, they are surmised to have passed through southern Bhutan before reaching their final destination near Kanchenjunga. But the scholars who have suggested such migratory patterns could not come up with sufficient evidence to prove their theories. The Lepcha people themselves do not have any tradition of migration, and hence they conclude that they are aboriginal to the region, currently falling under the state of Sikkim, Darjeeling District of West Bengal, Ilam District of eastern Nepal, and the southwestern parts of Bhutan. The Lepcha people have folklore and tales that suggest they have inhabited the region since time immemorial.
- Copyright: Nilanjan Nandy (nilanjann) (67)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-11-13
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D5100, *AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, 52 mm UV
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-03-12 11:28