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Sakewa festival offers tribute to Mother Earth in Sikkim

     Sikkim: Assam Linzey in Sikkim celebrated Sakewa, a festival to offer tribute to Mother Earth on Saturday. Sakewa is held as a community prayer and during this festival sweets and foodgrains are offered to Lord Kubera, who is the God of food and wealth. Assam Linzey mostly comprises of Rai community, who have celebrated this festival since ancient times and following the recognition of their language by the state government and declaration of Sakewa as a state holiday, the festival is now organized on a grand level "The main motive behind this festival is to pray to earth on which mankind was created. Today we people pray for the progress and peace of mankind. We pray for the safety of mankind," said AK Rai, one of the organizing members of the Sakewa festival. The festival has become synonymous to brotherhood among different communities as member from other sects also participate in the celebration. "All of the communities here celebrate this festival. Rai participate in our festivals and we participate in theirs. We show an example of strength by celebrating this festival together," said Tulsi Sharma, a local from other community. During Sakewa, women perform a folk dance called Sakewa Sili as their prayer to earth wishing good cultivation. The Rais are mainly cultivators who consider themselves as the off springs of Paruhang (the Rai God) who is believed to have dwelled in the Himalayas.
-May , 2009

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