News & Views

Federalism by Jill CottrellFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in english language Download Powerpoint file Read more

संघीय प्रणाली प्रारुपका सवालहरुFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in Nepali language Read more


Lhomi (Shingsaba)

The Shingsa region is where the Arun River enters Nepal from Tibet, and is situated to the north of the district of Sankhuwasava. The inhabitants of Shingsa are called Shingsapas or Shingsa. They enjoy cultural and social affinity and geographical proximity with the Sherpas and other northerners. They adhere to Bon and Buddhism. The village headman is called Goba and Gempoo. They migrate to the lower hills during winter. Most are engaged in farming and some are in trade. The Shingsa society had already been formed in Darjeeling in India as far back as circa 1914.

ImageThe Bhutia/Bhote, who live on the steep terraces on both sides of the deep canyon made by the Arun River as it enters Nepal from Tibet, call themselves Shingsa. As the place is also known as Singhsa, the people living in that place, the Shingsa or Karbhotes, are also known as Singhsapa of Sankhuwasabha. Among the various indigenous peoples living in the northern part of country, the area inhabited by  is considered the most difficult. Although the lifestyle of the Shingsapas is similar to the Tibetans to the north, they also display some of their own specialties.The Shingsapas live in the half a dozen villages of Kimathanka, Chepuwa, Hatiya, Pawakhola, etc in the northern part of Sankhuwasava on the two sides of the Arun River and Barun River. They are a small minority group living in a remote area. Their population has not been enumerated separately in the censuses.

The Shingsapas have own separate language called Shingsapaki-keyk, similar with Tibetan or Sherpa language with some local dialectal variations. The Shingsapas do have special ceremonies prior to marriage, and the formal ceremony related to marriage. The wife's family and relatives offer gifts. If a husband takes another wife, he has to leave the household. The head of the village, Goba, also receives marriage tax. After death and during cremation the Lama and Loben have a considerable role to play. The houses of Shingsapas are made of stone, wood and bamboo. The Shingsapas go down to the plains to trade during winter but do not have much trade contacts with the north.
The Shingsapas have many subgroups made up of various family groups like the Thikeppa, Nuppa, Khumbuwa, Pongsuwa, Bhoecha, Nava and Chyaba. The head of social organizations is the Goba and Gembu. They undertake various functions of the village like administration, protection, collecting of taxes, punishment, etc. Although the Shingsapas are 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 the Shingsapas had received the government's seal to collect tax in the village. They collect taxes from bridges, land and honey hunter. The Shingsapas cut goat in the months of Jeth and Bhadou and celebrate. The occupation of Shingsapa is farming and raising livestock, which includes the raising of sheep. They are not till now involved like the Sherpas and others in the tourism profession, wherever some of them have been able to become porters, guides to tourists and everest summiter. The Shingsapas go to the southern districts like Sunsari, Saptari and Sarlhahi during the winter months to engage in trade.

Representative Organization:
Shingsa Kalyan Kendra
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone/Fax : 977 1 4258905
GPO Box: 13893

Contact person:
i)Pemba Nava - Chairperson
ii)Chhongduk Bhote - General Secretary (mobile: 98030 41399)
iii)Pimba Jeba Bhote – Treasurer (mobile: 9841 335636)

Go Back  
Advance Search