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Asar Pandra, a perspective from the local tourist !

It was a rainy day but the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing. I was scrolling through my Google feeds when "Asar Pandra celebration on rise" caught my eyes .

The first thing that clicked on my mind was "What really is Asar Pandra?" Thinking for a minute I could finally come up with a meaning "Asar" means the rainy season and "Pandra" in Nepali or Hindi means fifteen .

When I read more about this topic it got me that Asar Pandra is actually a festival celebrated on the 15th of the Asar month embarking on rice cultivation ,where Dahi Chewra is taken as a special food during that day .

I was happy reading about it when an idea struck that our culture too resonates with the Nepali culture of rice cultivation as "Asar Pandra " .

I went to my aunt inquiring about this topic if our tribe too celebrates them .

Well all she could think of was “Not exactly like on a particular day but yes we do sow rice

plants during the Asar months”

“What about the food any kind of special items?”

My aunt chuckled “ Maybe Tomba after the field work “

About the theme, I still have a vivid memory of our mom taking us to the rice cultivation back in 2017 with my brother to her village where we were taught to sow rice plants in the paddy fields on a cloudy cold day .

Where everyone used to carry their homemade raincoats made from the reusable plastics to

protect themselves from the rain .

Drenched in the paddy water was the most unavoidable event and after a while when the

workload was over .

We would found ourselves swimming in the paddy fields ,well in present when I see my siblings doing that same thing we did a few years back it brings in a list of the” Asar ko Asar “ (Asar’s affect )

According to the Lepcha culture.

The Lepchas waited for Chakdom foo, a seasonal bird who flies every year during the month

of Asar to the plains from the hidden mystical land " Mayel Lyang " up in the laps of Mount

Kanchenjunga and upon his arrival the people gets the information to start the paddy field

cultivation .

I was curious whether our people too had some celebration related to Asar Pandra but through my entire research I found out that we follow the normal practices of cultivation and only when it's the season of Harvest we have a festival called “Dzo Tyum” ,rice harvest which is celebrated majorly in Dzongu ,North Sikkim.

I have seen paddy field cultivation especially in my mother's side family in Pakyong .

Our village is diverse with different people from all the communities so during the Asar season the people from the Nepali community offer “Dahi and Chewra “,sweet curd with flattened rice along with bananas to celebrate their occasion .And sing their way as they cultivate the field .Although we belong to a different community we do not take part in the rituals but in the celebration and as a best cheerleader and spectators to the entire occasion.


About the writer

Lungmying Lepcha is a 17 th year old 12 grader hailing from the Himalayan state Sikkim.

A poet in progress she loves listening to Indie music and reading books which she

reviews eternity later .

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