According to a news story last Thursday, the national government of India has changed its decision about allowing international mountaineering expeditions to climb Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak and a sacred spot for the Lepcha and Bhutia peoples of Sikkim.  The government had announced back in August that the mountain would be open […]

Quick, what is the third highest mountain in the world? Most lovers of geography trivia questions would know the highest—Everest—and the second highest—K2—but the third? The answer is a relatively lesser-known peak in the Eastern Himalayas, Mt. Kanchenjunga, located on the border of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. Even less well known, unfortunately, […]

Cherishing the Lepcha culture while searching for ways to strengthen their society were the basic themes of a day-long conference held in Gangtok, Sikkim, on April 27. The Balipara Foundation, based in Assam, India, sponsored the conference titled “Community, Conservation and Livelihoods: The Lepcha Community” held at Sikkim University. One news report about the event […]

Last week the Sikkim Chronicle published a feature story about a retired Lepcha civil servant and educator who exemplifies the giving spirit of her society. Although this website published  an article about her in 2012, Ms. Keepu Tsering Lepcha is inspiring enough to warrant another look at her accomplishments and ideals. Ms. Keepu was born […]

A fascinating research report about a project intended to strengthen the indigenous knowledge systems of the Himalayan peoples, including the Lepchas, was published in June 2018. A news report dated August 31 prompts interest in the report. The research study was designed to reinforce traditional systems of providing foods in the mountains by focusing on […]

The fascination in reading about minority peaceful societies is enhanced when writers report on really obscure, rarely visited, corners of their territories. Prem Khatry wrote last week about his visit to some Lepcha communities in eastern Nepal, near the border with Sikkim. The story was unique because, while the Lepchas of Sikkim and of the […]

The Lepchas are still as committed as they’ve ever been to the completion of their Stairway to Heaven reconstruction project in Daramdin, West Sikkim, and its neighboring Lepcha Heritage Center. According to a news story last week, they have been protesting once again the delays in the project—due to corruption they charge. The Stairway to […]

Geoffrey Gorer (1967) wrote that, according to tradition, the Lepchas began transitioning in the mid-18th century from a hunting and gathering society to a people who relied primarily on cultivation. But Gorer questioned that time scale. He felt that even a century earlier, in the 17th century, they were probably cultivating rice and millet on […]