At the present time the Nepalis constitute more than 80 percent of the total population of Sikkim.
At the present time the Nepalis constitute more than 80 percent of the total population of Sikkim. A major sub-cultural stock of the Nepalis are the Kiratis. The Kiratis include Limbus, Rais, Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs and some others as well. Originally most of them were hunters and shepherds and semi-nomadic. The Limbus who are also called Yakthambas i.e. yak-herders or traders are divided into three sects. The names can be mentioned as Kashigotra, Bhuiphuta and the Lhasagotra or Tsongs. Each Kirati sect has a dialect of its own. Some of the tribes of the Kiratis are animists attributing the soul to non-living things like mountains, whereas the others are either Hindus or Buddhists. The deities of the Limbu community are Sri Janga,Tagyera Ningwa Poma andYuma Shamma. Similarly the Rais also have many subsects. The other important communities of the Nepalis are the Pradhan Newars, Bahuns or Sharmas, Chettris and the service class such as the miners or Mangars, black-smiths or Kamis, tailors or Damais and cobblers or Karkis.
The language spoken by Nepalis is understood all over by the state. This language is similar to Hindi and uses the Devanagri script. The great Hindu epic Ramayana has been translated to Nepali by a Nepali poet named Bhanu Bhakta who lived in the last century. The birthday of Bhanu Bhakta holds a special significance for the Nepalis specially to those belonging to the intellectual class. During this day special functions, debates and essay competitions are held in memory of the great poet and writer.