‘Daykas’ would be an integral part of Losar celebrations; they would come & recite prayers, offer blessings for New Year; the tradition vanished by late 60s
The Losar celebration during our childhood days would start from 4 in the morning and in anticipation of the Dayka who would come and recite prayers and blessings for the New Year to the family.
This very age-old custom has been lost into oblivion with the passing of years and while moving towards modernisation. The Dayka would go from house to house and it would continue till the third day (Nim sum). They would be offered food and money for their recitation which would be strictly done in the main entrance of the house.
Basically, this profession has been long lost and now the Dayka is no more a part of the Losar celebration. People from my generation were the fortunate ones to have seen and witnessed this custom which was prevalent then in the north of Sikkim. By late 60s, this tradition vanished and ever since it has never been revived. Perhaps most in Sikkim are quite not familiar with it nor will many understand the significance of it. We now get to see it only during culture programmes of the Tibetans in Dharamsala.
So much has changed from where it had started by our ancestors and now most of the culture and traditions that once existed has been filtered and transformed from its original form with development and evolution.
Perhaps, there's been some degree of ignorance too and not having been enlightened by the elders of the past where these culture and traditions were concerned or either we took things for granted. Especially, here in Sikkim tradition and culture are gradually losing its significance with each passing years and generation. Until we do not document it from our elders of our society, I do not know what will the future generations follow in the days to come?
Basically, our Sikkimese shy away where culture and traditions are concerned as most do not know them in depth and the few who do are as usual silent because of their ego and pride and above all the fear of being branded as communal . We are, I suppose, all mixed and the confused lot.
Nothing much has been lost if we collectively come together and streamline them; we can bring in our lost cultures and traditions. The root cause and the stumbling block is that most of our people do not speak their language. To understand the depth of anything one need to know the language, the translated version cannot fully justify the true meaning of it. We certainly have come a long way since April 26, 1975, and now the time has come to pick up the bits and pieces and re-establish our culture and traditions if ever we need to move forward. We pretend to know everything but deep within we are but hollow and ignorant and confused in more ways than ever.
Well folks, today being the first day (Chaypa Chi) the year of the rat of the lunar calendar, my wishes, prayers, greetings and Tashi Delek to all. May every Sikkimese of Sikkim be blessed by the deities of Bhayul Demazog with prosperity, goodness and tranquillity. Tashi Delek Phunsum Tsok, Amma Bhag Do kungkham Sang, Ten Du Deva Thob Par Shog.