Celebrating Namsung and Lawsung, photo essay by Mijannur Rahaman Gazi
“Namsung” is a five day’s festival, celebrated by “Lepcha” People of Sikkim, state of India. “Bhutia” community of this region also celebrate the festival under the name of “Lawsung” or “Sonam Lawsung”, after harvest season they celebrate the festival to offering thanks to God, as well as this is the festival to welcome Tibetan upcoming year. Main part of this festival is offering prayer to the Lord Buddha as Nature at early morning. After prayer people gather in a place to celebrate. People throw paddy flour and rice to each other along with singing and dancing. At last they have home made sweet snacks Zeroo, Kabje, Paumulangcho and home made wine, Chi/Chang. Thanks giving festival, “Namsung” and “Lawsung” is celebrated mostly with family members and friends. A traditionally dressed performing troop of each community goes different houses to show their charisma with traditional song and dance. They use modern musical instruments along with the traditional, Tungdarbong (Drum), Tungbak (String), Tungdar (Tiny Drum). House lord offers the performers Tea, sweet snacks and some gifts, mainly money.
The Five day’s festival is belongs to the farmer. The Sikkim Government announced those five days as holiday. Community performing troops only perform farming or farmer related song and dance. “Namsung” and “Lawsung” traditional performance always ends with the prayer and well-wishes for their house and community.
(by Mijannur Gazi)