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People of Sikkim
Communities, cultures, religions and customs of different hues intermingle freely here in Sikkim to constitute a homogeneous blend. Hindu Temples coexist with Buddhist Monasteries and there are even a few Christian Churches, Muslim Mosques and Sikh Gurudwaras. Although the Buddhists with Monasteries all over the State are the most conspicuous religious group, they are in fact a minority constituting only 28 percent of the population. The majority, 68 percent profess Hinduism. The Predominant communities are the Lepchas, Bhutias and the Nepalis.

The Lepchas
The original inhabitants of Sikkim are said to be the Lepchas. They call Sikkim Ney-Meyel-Renjyong-Lyang i.e the sacred place inhabited by honest and peace loving people. The Lepchas who also call themselves Rongs claim that they are the indigenous people of the sacred hidden land which was also called Lep in ancient time.

The Bhutias
These are people of Tibetan origin. They migrated to Sikkim perhaps somewhere after the 15th century through Bhutan. They are evenly distributed throughout the state of Sikkim. In North Sikkim, where they are the major inhabitants, they are known as the Lachenpas and the Lachungpas. The Lachenpas and the Lachungpas who mainly inhabit the areas around Lachen and Lachung respectively have their own traditional legal system known as Dzomsa to settle disputes. Dzomsa means public meeting place and the village headman, who is also known as the Pipon metes out justice and is chosen once in a year by the villagers voting by the show of hands.

The Nepalis
They migrated from Nepal in large numbers from the middle of the 19th century.The Nepalis now constitute more than 80% of the total population of Sikkim. The Nepali settlers introduced the terraced system of cultivation and this brought large tracts of hilly terrain to yield crops productively.


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