Geyzing, Aug 7
The two days state level Tendong Lho Rum Faat, cultural and traditional festival of ethnic Lepcha community of Sikkim commenced today here at auditorium of Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Geyzing.
The inaugural day of the festival was attended deputy speaker of Sikkim Legislative Assembly Sangey Lepcha as chief guest along with PHE minister Bhim Hang Subba, DC (west) Karma R. Bonpo, SP (west) Tenzing Loden Lepcha and other prominent personalities from lepcha community.
At the outset the dignitaries attended a prayer offering session to the mount Tendong conducted by Bongthing (Priest of Lepcha tribe) and inspected the traditional stalls put up for the show.
Tendong Lho Rum Faat is a ritual offering annual festival of primitive Lepcha community celebrated since the time immemorial. In context of Lepcha community’s culture, traditions and history the festival is considered as one of the most important.
On the ceremonial day Lepcha tribe offer prayers to the Mount Tendong as the tribe hail the Mount Tendong which is located in South Sikkim near Damthang as their deity and saviour. According to an ancient folklore, when there was flood and deluge caused by incessant rain for 40 days 40 nights continuously, the Lepchas climbed atop the Mount Tendong to safety and since then the tribe hail and worship the Mount Tendong. The festival is however more than worshipping the Mount Tendong but it also shows a rich cultural connection and affinity of Lepcha community. The festival also reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Lepchas, aborigins of Sikkim.
Deputy Speaker Sangey Lepcha in his brief speech spoke about the historical and cultural importance of Tendong Lho Faat in relation to development and protection of lepcha langauge, customs and traditions. He said that the festival act as a medium to keep a tribe united and work together for betterment of community in terms of cultural and economic upliftment. He maintained that protection and preservation of cultural heritage of a certain community is keeping that community to safeguard their distinct identity from being extinct. “Protecting and preserving our cultural heritage has become an urgency as our culture and traditions are rapidly dissappearing in the wake of customs and practices prevalent and popularized in the modernised world”, he said.
Calling for greater participations of the lepchas for the economic, social and cultural upliftment of lepcha community, Lepcha expressed that in order to keep age old cultural heritage of the lepcha tribe alive and protected contributions and positive participations of the community is much needed.
Tenzing Loden Lepcha motivating the gatherings at the event expressed that education is one of the most important factor that drives any tribe and community to the path of upliftment and progress. “In present context of the world being educationless is the biggest drawback and the education play an important role in promotion, propagation and conservation of our ethnic and distinct identity. Education also help to strengthen and improve a community’s economic condition”, he said.
D.C (west) Karma R. Bonpo in his address expressed that preservation of language, culture and traditions of any community is keeping their distinct identity alive.
Cultural dance competition, quiz competition, poetry competition and painting competitions on the cultural themes were other extravagant on the inaugural day of the event.
Agriculture minister Loknath Sharma, Transport minister Sanjit Kharel, Sangha MLA and RMDD minister Sonam Lama and education minister Kunga Nima Lepcha attended the event in the evening.
It was informed that the final day of the event tomorrow will be attended by chief minister P.S Goley.