Culture & Heritage

Nepali (Sikkimese) is the most widely spoken language. English and Hindi are understood in most parts of the state. Other languages include Bhutia (Sikkimese), Tibetan and Lepcha(Sikkimese).

All major Indian festivals, such as Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Ramnavami, Janmashtami, Teej, Maha Shivaratri, Naga Panchami, Vasant Panchami, Raksha Bandhan and Makar Sankranti (the popular Hindu festivals) and Buddhist festivals like Losar, Loosong, Bhumchu, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen and Drupka Teshi along with Christmas, Easter, Eid al-Fitr etc are celebrated, with most government offices and schools closing accordingly.

It is common to see school kids walking with guitars strung on their backs. Western Hip-Hop music is popular. Football and cricket are the two most popular sports and the St Xavier’s School ground serves as the tournament venue, most notably the Independence Day Cup, which have in the past featured teams from as far as Calcutta, Nepal and Bhutan.

Local favourites like momo, Sel roti, Kheer, thukpa, Paratha, chowmein, Samosa, Kachori, gyathuk and wonton are available in restaurants. Momo is a popular snack, with vegetables, chicken filling steamed and served with soup. The hills traditionally have a liberal attitude towards alcohol and in many of the local functions like marriages etc., it plays an important role. A common local beverage is raksi.