Culture of Darjeeling - Informative & researched article on Culture of Darjeeling
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesStates of India

 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
States of India|Indian Cities|Beaches of India|Hill Stations in India|Forests in India
Home > Travel > States of India > West Bengal > Districts of West Bengal > Darjeeling District > Culture of Darjeeling
Culture of Darjeeling
Culture of Darjeeling is diverse, owing to its multi national population and their various customs and traditions.
 Culture of DarjeelingCulture of Darjeeling District is quite miscellaneous, due to the mixed ethnicity of the population. The local culture of Darjeeling can be well understood during the season of native festivals. The diverse community of people of Darjeeling District consists of the Lepchas (the original inhabitants), the diverse dialect groups of Nepali Gorkhas who form the majority, Bengalis, Tibetans, Biharis and Marwaris to name a few sects.

Lepchas were the original inhabitants of Darjeeling and Sikkim but they represent a minority of the population in today's Darjeeling. Nepali Gorkhas constitute the majority of the population of Darjeeling today. They come from different castes and dialect groups like the Limbu, Gurung, Tamang, Rai, Newar, Mangar, Sherpa and Thami communities. The Tibetan community is comparatively a new addition to the population formed when thousands of Tibetan refugees settled across Darjeeling district in 1950 when China captured Tibet. The rest of the population is an assortment of people who are from the plains of India, from states like Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and so on.

Festival contours the cultural synthesis of Darjeeling. Apart from the major Hindu religious festivals like Christmas, Diwali, Dussera, Holi, Ram Navami and others, the diverse ethnic population of the Darjeeling district observes several local festivals. The Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups like the Bhutias, Lepchas, Gurungs, and Tamangs celebrate New Year called Loshar during the months of January or February. Maghe Sankranti, Buddha Jayanti, Chotrul Duchen, and Tendong Lho Rumfaat are some of the local festivities in Darjeeling that largely tells about the culture of the place. Darjeeling Carnival, initiated by a civil society movement known as the Darjeeling Initiative, is a ten-day carnival held annually during winter that especially portrays the prosperous musical and cultural heritage of Darjeeling Hills as its basic theme.

Culture of Darjeeling Food is an important element of the culture of Darjeeling. The most loved food in Darjeeling is the momo, a steamed dumpling containing mutton, pork, beef or vegetables cooked in a doughy wrapping served with a watery vegetable soup and spicy tomato sauce. Most of the food made in Darjeeling are dry in exteriors, like Wai-Wai is a favourite packaged snack of the hills comprising noodles which are eaten either dry or with soup. Churpee, a kind of hard cheese made from cow or yak's milk happens to be another popular mini-snack that is truly nutritious. A form of noodle called thukpa, served with soup and vegetables, is extremely popular in the district. There are a number of restaurants offering a variety of traditional Indian, Continental and Indian Chinese cuisine to cater to the varied palette of the tourists. Tea is the most popular beverage, prepared from the famed Darjeeling tea gardens, as well as coffee. Chhang and tongba are local alcoholic beverages made from millet that is often especially ordered by the tourists.

Culture of Darjeeling is also portrayed through its marvellous colonial architecture, characterising many buildings in Darjeeling; like the Gothic churches, Tudor residences, the Raj Bhawan (Governor House), Planters' Club and various educational institutions. Buddhist monasteries display the pagoda style architecture. Darjeeling is thought to be a center of music and a forte for musicians and music admirers. Singing and playing musical instruments is a common leisure among the resident population, who take pride in the traditions and role of music in cultural life. Western music is popular among the younger generation of Darjeeling, and it is a major center of Nepali rock music. Traditional dances in Darjeeling include the chutkay dance, jhaure dance, maruni dance and Tamang selos, which find their origins in Nepal. Other forms of dance in Darjeeling include the Tibetan Chaam performed with gaudy costumes and masks during the eve of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Cricket and football are the most popular sports in Darjeeling. An improvised form of ball made of rubber garters is often used to play along the lonely steep streets.

Several monasteries like Ghum Monastery, Bhutia Busty monastery, Mag-Dhog Yolmowa are the preservation houses of ancient Buddhist scripts which still echo the culture of Darjeeling amidst their antiquity. Hinduism, Buddhism and to a certain extent Christianity are the chief religions practiced by people of Darjeeling. One can expect to find inter-faith places of worship like the Hindu temple at Dhirdham, Mahakal Temple, or the various Tibetan Buddhist monasteries like Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery or Aloobari Monastery, and the Dali Monastery. Nepali is the prime language used in Darjeeling with Hindi, English and Bengali being the other languages used for conversation between the locals and tourists.

The culture of Darjeeling has been retaining its charm and simplicity since ages. The hard line Indian politics has not yet made a strong hold in the region, thus enabling the inhabitants to spend a peaceful day and lulled to a quite night slumber.

(Last Updated on : 31/01/2014)
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
More Articles in Darjeeling District  (45)
Recently Updated Articles in States of India
Chamba is a small town situated in the state of Uttarakhand, and perfectly placed at the junction of roads leading from Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Tehri Dam Lake and New Tehri.
Red Hills Lake
Red Hills Lake located in Tamil Nadu is a rain fed reservoir. The lake also known as Puzhal Lake has a full capacity of 3,300 million ft³.
Maenam Hill
Maenam Hill located near to Ravangla town in Sikkim is a famous tourist spot. One can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga Peak and waterfalls.
Religion of Odisha
Religion of Odisha is varied. There is seen the presence of diverse religious forces in the state.
Forum on States of India
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Travel
Culture of Darjeeling - Informative & researched article on Culture of Darjeeling
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.