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Ritual, The Village And The State

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Chapter Summary

The political, economic and administrative changes that have swept through Sikkim in recent decades have not been without consequences in its ritual field. This chapter first addresses the changes that have taken place within the village?s local administration and its relation with Gangtok. It argues that household ritual obligations and the traditional way of local administration are still fundamental factors involved in the management of Tingchim?s Lhopo community. The chapter then illustrates how Buddhism was the dominant way in which the village related to the outside world in pre-1975 Sikkim, and examines how it has partly regained this role in the 1990s. The chapter shows that household and other distinctively Sikkimese rituals are likely to continue to do so for a number of reasons despite the decline of bon and the renewed influence of conventional Buddhism in the 1990s.

Keywords: Buddhist rituals; Lhopo community; pre-1975 Sikkim; Tingchim village



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