(Last Updated on : 03/01/2009)
There are various dances which are prevalent in Sikkim, all of these are very colourful in nature. Most of the dances relate to the beauty of the natural surroundings, some depict the harvest season while others are performed for good luck and prosperity. Many of the musical instruments that accompany the dances are unique to Sikkim. Some of the popular dances are described as follows.
Nepali Folk Dance-Maruni
This dance is mainly associated with the festival of Tihar meaning `Festival of Light`. But because of its popularity it is performed even on occasions like marriages. Tihar is celebrated to mark the return of the Hindu god Rama from exile. During this festival Maruni dancers richly dressed in colourful costumes and resplendent with ornaments. They also use nose rings called `dungris` and with all these they used to go on a house to house visit. The dancers are usually also accompanied by a clown called `Dhatu waray`. Sometimes Maruni dances are performed to the accompaniment of the nine instrument orchestra known as `Naumati Baja`.
Nepali Folk Dance-Tamang Selo
Tamangs are a Nepali community and the `Tamang Selo` dance is performed to the rhythmic sound of the `Dhamphu` musical instrument which the dancers carry in their hands. Therefore this dance is also called the `Dhamphu Dance`.
Lepcha Folk Dance-Zo-Mal-Lok
This dance portrays the sowing and the subsequent harvesting of paddy. The dance is performed by the Lepcha farmers to reduce the drudgery and monotony of working in the fields.
Bhutia Folk Dance Tashi Sabdo
This dance describes the custom of offering `Khadas` or scarves.
Tibetan Yak Dance
This dance is performed to honour the yak. This is an animal on which man is completely dependent upon for survival at high altitudes.
The other popular dances which are also prevalent in Sikkim can be mentioned as Subba Chabrung Dance, Bhutia Talachi, Tibetan Singhi Chaam, the Sherpa Sebru Naach, Gurung Sorathi, Bhutia Lu-Khang-Thamo, Lepcha Kar Gnpk Lok, Bhutia Gha-to-Kito, Lepcha Dhamra Jo, Bhutia Be-yul-mista, Lepcha Mon-Dryak-lok, Nepali Dhaan Nach and Bhutia Chi-Rimu.