~ Mahira Saraf
Sikkim, a state which marks a very small area on the geographical map of India, but what lies within this small state is a unification of diverse cultures, constant fear, and environmentalists. We’re sure that whenever you hear about North-East India, a few things which come to your mind first are the seven sisters, huge acres of tea and coffee gardens, mountains, a major tourist attraction, and a few scenarios of folk dances. However, Sikkim is not a part of the seven sisters and is recognised as the brother of these seven sisters. Click here to know why. From marking its historical importance by becoming the 22nd state of the union of India to becoming one of the largest exporters of Cardamom in India, the state has much more to it, and we’re here to get you covered!
Did we just read food? Yes, even we’re always hungry. The Sikkimese cuisine made our mouths much more watery. Here are some of the foods cooked in Sikkim-
- MOMOS(DUMPLINGS) – We all know how these taste to a great extent.The outer soft covering made out of dough or white flour, while the inside filled with paneer or chicken.However, the original momos cooked from the beginning of time in Sikkim mostly had filling of ground meat.To taste the momos of Sikkim, one should visit Gangtok.
Image source- Sikkimonline.in
- PHAGSHAPA -An effort to make a spicy and tangy dish at the same time, Phagshapa is Pork fat with dry chillies and Radish.
Image source- Holidify.com
- KINEMA- It is a dish made up of soya beans, mostly eaten with rice. It is high in antioxidants and is low fat.What better than a yummy and healthy side dish?
Image source- WordPress.com
- GUNDRUK- A staple food of Sikkim that has a Nepalese origin.The dish has been prepared in the earthen pots of Sikkim since many years. A pure vegan dish, rich in roughage and helps in maintaining metabolism.
Image source- Wikipedia
LIVELIHOOD AND ECONOMY
Sikkim is home to a huge number of agriculturists. More than 80 per cent of its population’s livelihood depends on agriculture. One of the most important features that come along with it is the fact that it has become the first state in the world to practice 100 per cent organic farming. Click here to watch a documentary on Organic farming in Sikkim. This seems to have been the most positive step any state has ever taken to preserve our biodiversity. However, as it has always been mentioned, each situation has a head and a tail. Shifting to organic farming on one hand helps farmers to earn more from their products because of its upgraded and up to the mark quality than the conventional produce, but on the other hand, the state witnesses a high risk of crop failure and abandonment, and with the adverse climatic conditions caused due to the rising global warming, one can believe that agriculturists in Sikkim are taking a significant risk to protect our environment.
Image source- The Economic Times
Sikkim is quite famous for its diverse cultures and ethnicity. The way they express their culture in front of the world is remarkable. Various communities residing in the state include Bhutias, Lepchas, Limbus, Sherpa, Tamang, Chhetri, Yolmo, and many more. The Lepchas are considered to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. The indigenous groups refer to themselves as “Rongpa” meaning “valley dwellers”.The Lepchas, according to a folk story, are born as a result of a god falling in love with a lake, and to marry it, he transforms himself into a monkey. Most of the present-day Lepchas follow Buddhism or Christianity. They refer to their god as “Rum”.
The word “Sikkim” has originated combining Limbu words- “Su” meaning “new” and “Khyim” meaning “palace” or “house”.The languages of Sikkim are Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia, Tamang, Limbu, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, and Tibetian.
Image source- Blogspot.com
EDUCATION IN SIKKIM
In terms of Education, Sikkim has been consistently performing well. In 2008, Sikkim stood at the top rank for performing well in providing primary education. Therefore, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan launched in 2009 aimed to provide secondary education to students in Sikkim. Besides, the state aims to instil Educational skills and cultural habits in the students, and for the same reason, the regional language of “Lepcha” is taught to students till middle school. The state also provides many exquisite scientific courses to promote scientific advancements in various fields. Even in the field of agriculture, the government renders several short courses on how to protect and fertilize crops through eco-friendly methods. To read more about the education of Special children in Sikkim, click here.
Image source- Indiatoday.in
INDUSTRIES IN SIKKIM
Sikkim has contributed massively to the increasing GDP of India. The engagement of people in the Industrial sector in Sikkim has increased drastically over the years. Its part of the State’s contribution increased to 60.4 per cent from 26.6 per cent within a decade (2004/2005-2013/2014). Some special Industries in Sikkim are:
- Food Processing
And many more.
Image source- Government of Sikkim
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON SIKKIMESE PEOPLE
The Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the entire world, mentally as well as physically. With a majority of the citizens in Sikkim being educated, all necessary precautions were taken by the people. The most affected industry of Sikkim was the Tourism industry. Being the most emerging and important industry, even for the state government, as it derives its revenue from the same. In response to this, the government distributed some amount of money to taxi drivers and tourism companies.
Very often we define certain things in the way they look. Appearances can be delusional. Sikkim, a state we often remember for its natural beauty, biodiversity, especially Khangchendzonga National park, has many more colours. The people of the state have their happiness and heartaches, just like any other state. It is important to go beyond, understand flaws and features and accept them as they are. It is important to give it equal importance as we give to the other big and developed cities in the country. Just like there is no gain with no pain, the same way, Sikkim has earned its beauty only because of the residents’ love, care, and respect towards nature, and has sought to make enough sacrifices for the same too.