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Old 02-26-2007, 04:57 PM   #1
 
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Question Sikkim, India Questions

Next month my mother will be traveling to northwest India. She will be going to remote villages in the Sikkim region and would like to know if anyone has traveled to Sikkim and the remote villages within. Also, what are some of the needs of the people in that region? What should she expect? And specifically what kinds of token gifts would be appreciated by children? Any suggestions for adult gifts? {From the states or bought in India} She’s hoping to save space in her luggage and $$$, too.
Thanks, Sandy
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:09 PM   #2
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Hang out, Space Virgin will be along soon with all the info you need
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:55 PM   #3
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Hi Augustiner ! I spent a few months right "next door" in Nepal, and lived with a nepalese family in a village, taught in a public school. I have good ideas for gifts.

For children
-Toys, just about any kind, most households don't have any toy what so ever. But I'd say that balls or cricket equipment would be ex-tre-me-ly appreciated by boys. Ok, it's not exactly luggage friendly, but if your mother can leave her things in a hotel where she'd be based, before heading to the remote area, and bring only the minimum there, she'd have room for sport gear. Paper and colour pencils will also make a lot of happy children.

- Jewelry, from the US or India, but she should find out before what is acceptable. I remember that in Nepal, only married women (hindu) could wear a long necklace. But Sikkim's religion is Budhism, so, I don't know.

- Warm clothes.

-If it's like in Nepal, "modern music" even from India, is almost considered as "dirty" by parents, and if fact, listening to music is like a waste of time in their mind. So no CD or cassette of any sort, I'd say.

For women
- Skin cream ! They work long hours under the sun, and their skin becomes so dry that sometimes their hands and feet get opened wounds. Gentle soap also.

-Fabrics they can make clothes with (if she visits hindu villages, red is especially appreciated, for married women only, because it is the sacred colour). Often they have only one dress/sari, that is pretty worn out.

-Warm clothes.



For teenagers
-For girls, also jewels, fabrics and cream.
-For guys, watches.
-For both, to the very few curious minds, they will love to receive novels in english, world atlas, etc.
-Warm clothes.

For men
Frankly, apart from warm clothing, I have no clue. Leisure isn't part of the culture, except for children (but to some extend). I guess watches would please them.



Community
If she wants to help out a whole community, she could contact any NGO in that area and ask what they need (notebooks and pencils, rulers, up-to-date grammar or math books, uniforms, medicine, etc.).



Hope this help !
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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Hey there! Sikkim is in the northEAST region of the country... are you sure she's going there? The northWEST part of the country consists mostly of the Punjab and Jammu/Kashmir/Ladakh.

Atchoum has the bases pretty much covered because she's cool like that . I brought pens and small pads of sticky notes to hand out to kids, they LOVED them. I found the people of Sikkim to be much less "in your face" as the general population of the rest of India... perhaps this has something to do with the strong Nepalese and Tibetan influence on the culture.

I have some pictures of Sikkim here if you want to check them out.
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:29 AM   #5
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Wow good work atchoum. Remind me to come to you when I get stuck for ideas next christmas!
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:06 AM   #6
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^^^ I'm so bad at having gifts ideas for friends and family...


Quote:
I found the people of Sikkim to be much less "in your face" as the general population of the rest of India... perhaps this has something to do with the strong Nepalese and Tibetan influence on the culture.
Even without having visited Sikkim, Bhutan nor Tibet, I would say there is no doubt that they share one common culture, a culture of the Himalayas. The mountain range is too powerful not to have influence over the population. And the south side also share their history : Eastern and South Nepal were once in the Sikkim kingdom, Bhutan also I think. So they aren't "influenced by the nepalese and tibetan culture, I'd say they are part of it.

Sikkim became an Indian State only 30 years ago.


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Atchoum has the bases pretty much covered because she's cool like that . I
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:48 AM   #7
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^ Yes, that's kind of what I meant but didn't get across very well. The Himalayan culture is a wonderful breath of fresh air after the hustling and constant begging and demands for baksheesh from most of the rest of the subcontinent.

And, uh, with that I'm referring mostly to the eastern Himalayas... the western part of the range, extending into the Kashmir/Pakistan area, is populated by a fascinating group of nomadic peoples (the Gujjars and Bakerwals are the primary "tribes" but there are hundreds). And they have absolutely NO QUALMS about asking you for anything and everything that you own.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:28 PM   #8
 
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Thank you all for your suggestions my mom is taking them all into consideration.
She’s bring these suggestions to the attention of the team leader they are going on a medical missions trip from our church.
Quote:
Originally Posted by space virgin View Post
Hey there! Sikkim is in the northEAST region of the country... are you sure she's going there? The northWEST part of the country consists mostly of the Punjab and Jammu/Kashmir/Ladakh.
So to answer your question spacevirgin, YES she is sure she is going to the Sikkim region.
Thanks again everyone, Sandy
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