Sikkim; one of the most beautiful and culturally rich states of India lies on the North-Eastern side of the country. It is one of those places that has a huge number of things to offer to visitors. And if you are keen to know and educate yourself about the different cultural dresses here- we have just the right thing for you.
And this blog is going to help people who love to know about a certain place more than just the “Places to visit there” or “Things to do.” They wish to know more about their culture, local cuisines, attires, festivals, and other things.
If you too fall in the same category and are planning to visit Sikkim, very soon- then stick with the blog till the end. We have a few amazing things for you to know!
Some traditional dresses of Sikkim that are still popular
So basically the entire local population of Sikkim comprises three major communities; namely Bhutias, Nepalis, and Lepchas. All these three communities have a few common things and a lot of things that make them distinctive. So it becomes a bit easy with the distinctions to know the people of each community.
Anyways this is a mixed list of traditional dresses that are worn in Sikkim by multiple communities.
1. Kho or Bakhu
Now, Kho or Bakhu Is a popular dress that is worn by Nepalis of Sikkim. But this is one of those dresses that is worn by Bhutia’s as well. This is the reason that we are calling it by two different names. Where the Bhutia’s call it Kho, Nepalis of Sikkim call it Bakhu.
Interesting things about the Kho Sikkim dress
- This is one single dress that is worn by both men and women on multiple occasions.
- Bakhu also resembles the Chuba of Tibet. The only significant distinction that can be made between them is the sleeves.
- The dress is like a cloak that can be grabbed and tied around the waist as well as the neck. A lot of people use silk and cotton belts to tie the dress around their waist. And a lot of people wish to keep it loose.
- It goes without any correction that there have been a lot of modifications done to the original attire over the years just to make it compatible with the world’s fashion.
- Nowadays women wear it with jeans to create a western look out of their traditional dress. And this helps them to remain in fashion.
2. Thokro Dum
Thokro Dum is another interesting dress that is worn by the locals of Sikkim and specifically the Lepcha Community. If you dig deeper, you will get to know that the breadmakers of this community wear the dress more than any other person.
Interesting things about the Thokro Dum Sikkim dress
- The dress was initially made for religious and cultural events only. But over time people started wearing it regularly.
- The dress has white pajamas that stretch up to the calves and it highly resembles the martial art dress.
- The outfit also has Yenthatse which is a Lepcha shirt and it looks amazing when worn together.
- To complement the attire further, people also wear a cap named Shambho. And to top all of it, there is a multi-colored cloth that’s pinned on a shoulder and held like a waistband.
This is a traditional dress that’s worn by the women of Lepcha and it involves a garment that’s worn like a saree. The attire is known as Dumyam or Dumvum. Here are a few things that are interesting about the attire.
Interesting things about the Dumvum Sikkim dress
- The dress is ankle-length, smooth, silky, and has a good combination of colors.
- This is one of those attires that brings culture and color together. The females of this community wear this dress too often and you can prominently see them wearing it during a festival or an event.
- And underneath this attire, they wear a loose-fitting blouse that goes perfectly with the dress in contrast. This blouse is known in their language as Tago.
- Then to complete the look the women also prefer wearing a belt called Nyamrek and then a cap named Taro.
- Some women also prefer carrying a Gorey which is nothing but a scarf that’s mostly multicolored.
- A similar dress is also worn by men but there is a distinction between them. And the names of their key components are a bit different.
Coming onto Nepalese women and their graceful attires, Pharia is one of the top-notch dresses in their list. This is a traditional attire that comes in multiple hues and women wear it usually during their festivals.
Interesting things about the Pharia Sikkim dress
- The upper body in this attire is wrapped by an elegant loose blouse and then covered with a cloth. It is also fastened from four sides.
- Different people wear different things and some also wrap clothes on top of everything. This gives them a significantly better look.
- There are multiple other things that are worn to compliment the attire and one of them is the Hembari which is a piece of cloth that looks elegant. It is wrapped around the waist.
Shuruval is an attire that’s worn by Nepalese Men and is a fashion they have invented for their culture. This outfit has a lot of amazing things and we have mentioned most of them below.
Interesting things about the Shuruval Sikkim dress
- The attire has trousers and above that, until the waist, you will see a loose and double-breasted garment worn by the people.
- But that’s not the dress part we are talking about here. There is a churidar bottom that sticks to the legs and that’s called Shuruval.
- People wear it with Daura which is the name given to a shirt in the community.
- Many people also pair it with the Patuki name for their waistcoat and then a belt.
6. Wedding attire
Coming to the wedding attire of Sikkim people; it is mostly the same thing. But there are a few small changes that can be seen in various communities. But their major attire for men and women remains a royal gown.
Interesting things about the dress
- It is also known as the royal Baku.
- Because it is a special dress, the making process is also a bit different and so is the fabric.
- The wedding or royal Baku is made out of a distinctive and from the finest silks.
- The groom wears a similarly designed outfit.
- There is a minor addition to the groom’s attire and that’s the loose trousers.
It is always good to know more about your culture and the culture of the destination that you are going to visit. It’s not just traveling and exploring the place that matters a lot but also knowing the insights as well. In today’s world, we have travelers who wish to know more about their next travel destination, the religions that are followed, the cultures that they have, festivals that they celebrate, and a lot more things. All of this together brings a lot of interest and amusement to the visitors because it makes you intrigued with knowledge.
And take it from experience, the more you are intrigued to know about multiple things in your next destination the better experience you will have when you physically visit there. So when you plan to visit Sikkim, you can explore the traditional dresses and maybe get a few of them for your collection.