Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Lhomi People

The upper Arun valley in the district of Sankhuwa-sava, eastern Nepal’s perhaps one of the roughest and most difficult regions of the entire northern border where altogether 18 more scattered villages are inhabited by a mountain Indigenous people they are called themselves by the term Lhomi.  These villages cling to the steep mountain slopes above the Arun River and Barun Glacier which has cut a deep narrow gorge through the mountains. The settlements are often completely cut off from one another and effectively blocked from easy communication with Tibet. After crossing the border there are half dozen small villages in Tibet are found Lhomi people.  The many Lhomi people migrated towards Darjeeling hills of West Bangal in India. Some are migrated into many cities like Kathmandu, Khandbari, Pokhara and Dharan within Nepal. Altogether their total populations are 25,000 in Nepal, Tibet and India.Their population has not been enumerated separately in the censuses.

Their ancestors came from Tibet to these lower regions and Lhomi is a Tibetan expression for “lowlanders”, more correctly, the Lhomis of the upper Arun are known as the ‘Kar Bhote’. Another meaning of Lhomi refers that “Lho” means southern part of Tibet and “Mi” means people and it means the people of the south of Tibet(Bhot). Lhomi people are  extremely marginalized with minority group and deprived from the government. Nepal government recognizes the Lhomi as an official ethnic nationality. Lhomi people had migrated into Darjeeling of India as far back as circa 1914 and  began to introduce as term of Shingsava (Bhutia).

The Lhomis still claim to be of the Buddhist religion, however, their monasteries are in a tragic state of disrepair, Buddhist Lamas are few, and the contact with Tibet, the source of their religion, has been broken since its 1959 takeover by the Chinese. Well rooted in their religious practice are elements of a pagan form of a pre-Buddhist religion, which includes animal sacrifices, and worship of spirits and patron deities. Nevertheless, nearly every village harbors several Chortens, Buddhist Stupas, and Mani walls which bear testimony to this region once being a place where Buddhism flourished. They adhere to Bon and Buddhism. Although the Lhomi are Bon (Buddhists), they believe in ghosts and spirits and have deep faith in shamans. They practice animal sacrifice in all ritual. When people and cattle die, they call upon shamans believing that the deaths occurred because the ghost became angry or the dead became inflicted with ghosts and spirits. There are monasteries in every village, and collect tax in the village.

The head of village and social organizations is called Goba and Gempoo. They undertake various functions of the village like administration, protection, collecting of taxes, punishment, etc. They receive taxes from marriage, bridges, land, pasture, forest and honey hunter. After death and during cremation the Lama and Loben have a considerable role to play. They have the system of appointing a coordinator which is called " Aayababu" to perform any socio-cultural program like marriage, Lhoshyar, making house etc.

The occupation of Lhomi is farming and raising livestock, which includes the raising of sheep. They are self-sufficient farmers and trade plays only a minor role, but when they do trade, they trade to the south.The Lhomis go down to the plains to trade during winter but do not have much trade contacts with the north. Their socio-economic status are poor and there are no electricity, no transportation, not available of educational and health facilities and no opportunities.

Social structure includes a division into several clans called rhyee: Thikepa, Nuppa, Pongsyuwa, Shyaringaptakpa(Dhaguwa), Khumbuwa, Thaktokpa, Poechyava, Monanga, Sinbua, Lingbo, Feknak,Yangshyura, Ngoemba, Khamba, Sippa, Sirpa, Chhapa, Ghukmule and Gangdokpa, et cetera. Some of these rhyee are in turn subdivided into many exogamous extended family groups like Thikepa and Nuppa.The several subdivided clans of Thikepa are Pedzapa, Seknepede, Shyangdara, Hamoa, Pubukamma, Thudziba, Uchyenteshyi, Pechhiring, Bhishyinchyema, Dhongmoepa Bakhuchhya, Dhongdepa and Raptemba. Some of the Thikepa use to say Rai in Rudang, Adima, Dhungaling and Walung.
As same sub-clans of Nuppa are Sonarindzen, Eyagokpa, Hamua, Gambukpa, Jhilawa, Zedzawa, Yangjanuppu, Setchya, Lobanga, Manglokta, Lhejyunga and Peruwa.

The Lhomi have own separate language called Lhoket which is a distinction like Tibetan(Bhote) or Sherpa language with different dialectal variations. The Lhomis do have special ceremonies prior to marriage, and the formal ceremony related to marriage. Lhomi marriages are not arranged marriages as found in much of Nepal. The wife's family and relatives offer gifts. If a husband takes another wife, he has to leave the house hold.

Lhomi houses have walls made of stone or quite often of woven bamboo, which is also used exclusively in the covering of the roofs.

ल्होमी सिन्‍न सु सु बेक्‍क ? सु ल सिक्‍केन् बेक्‍क? सी़ सिक्‍केन् बेक्‍क?

नेपालगी ॱस्यारल नेगेन् संखुवासभा जिल्लागी फुरी भो़त् युल च्येम्मे हटिया, चेपुवा, पावाखवला धाङ किमाथाङ्‍क गाविसगी युगाङ् च्याप्च्येत्ल दो़क्‍केन्गी मी ज्यी़त्ल ल्होमी सिन्‍न सिक्‍केन् बेत्। हिगो साज्य हिल ज्येगेत्ल माथिल्लो अरुण उपत्यका उनी भोटखोला सिन्‍न सिक्‍केन् बेत्। संखुवासभा जिल्‍लागी भोटखोला न भो़त् ज्यी़त्नी छ्येप्पे मि ल्होमी धाङ नावा यो़क्‍केन् बेत्। ल्होमी सिन्‍न भो़त् (Tibet) की ल्हो ङो़नी  थो़न्‍न  योङे मी झ्यिनी ल्होमी सिक्‍केन् बेत्। भोटखोलादु एन धाङ्बुनी देत्न योङे मी झ्यिनी ल्होमी ज्यिमी, स्यिङ्‍गे दाक्पु सिन्‍न नेपालकी माथिल्लो अरुण उपत्यकाकी एन धाङ्बी ज्यी़त् खुङ्म (आदिवासी जनजाती) सिन्‍न नेपाल स्युङ्‍गी थो ल यो़क्‍केन् बेत्।

नावा घायेत् स्यारखुम्बुनि मानी यल थो़न्‍न योङ झ्यिनी नाकेत् लप्केन् बेत्। दा हरिङ् ल्होमी धाङ् नावा गज्येन ङिन्स बाक्स झ्यित्‍री चिगेन् बेत्। मदि स्युङ्‍गी आदिबासी जनजाती दिन ल्होमी(स्यिङ्साव) सिन्‍न दर्ता झ्युङ्‍न यो़क्‍केन् बेत्। घोक्‍कामोम्बे ज्येकेत्ल भोट नि योङे मिल भोटे सिन्‍न सिक्‍केन् बेत्। दोच्यीलिङ्‍नल स्यिङ्‍गल सो़ले ढेन, साप्ले ज्यप्न दो़क्‍केम्बे मी हिन् सिन्‍न लेलुङ्गी मिङ्‍नी स्यिङ्साव सिन्‍न सिक्‍केन् बेत्। मदि  ल्होमी, स्यिङ्साव, भोटे दि राङ्‍रा सो सो मेम्बेत् उब कुरिक्‍क च्यिक्प बेत् सिन्‍न हा घोव झ्यिक्‍कोगेन् बेत्।

ल्होकेत ༄༅།ལྷོ་མི་འགཱི་ཀད་ཅོག་ལྷོ་འཀད་ལ༎

ल्होमी दिबे ल्होकेत् लप्केन् बेत् ।  ल्होमीगी ताम् ल्होकेत्ल ॱयाङ्‍ ज्येत् (८) धङ् ॱसाल्ज्येत्  ॱसुम्ज्यु ॱसो़रुक (३६) योङ्‍गेन् बेत्। उब घायेत् मान डोक्‍रो झ्यी।

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