People have a simple lifestyle in Ledakh. They share a similar lifestyle in terms of Food, Clothing, region etc with the roots sharing form both Tibet and central India. A majority of the people rely on agriculture and tourism as a major source of income. One unique feature in the Ladakhi society is the equality given to both men and women. The women owe a reputed status all across the Ladakh. All families in the ladakh are energetic and self-sufficient and help each other to harvest and cultivate during the summer season. This has also helped them to keep a strong bond within the villages. It is also seen that the peopcle of ladakh focus more on recycling and reuse of all possible resources and hence are focused in maintaining the environment clean.
The people in ladakh are polite and very Jovial. Since most families follow the culture from their ancestors most people in ladakh speak Tibetan, Ladakhi, Urdu and Hindi language. If you are planning to visit Ladakh it is good to practice some of these phrases.
Hello or Goodbye Juley
How are you? Khamzang yin na?
You are welcome Tashi delek
What is your name? Nerang nai ming na chi yen?
How do I get to? Na kanos na cha ley?
How much? Tsam yin ley?
Give me some discount Tsapik nunon cha-zat.
Boiled water Chu-skol
Ladakh majorly has two seasons – Summer which starts from March and extend upto October and the Winter starts from October to end by February. Most weddings in ladakh happen during winters. This is the time when people are free from their agricultural duties as most places is covered with snow and its not possible to cultivate during this period.
In the earlier days it was noticed that boys of age above 16 and girls of age above 12 were qualified for the wedding which eventuall now has slowly changed to 21 and 18 years respectively. The process of wedding beings when the proposal is sent from the boys side with Ring, Tea, Butter and Chhaang (a local Liquor) is offered to the gilrs side. If the gilrs family accept it then the wedding happen within few months. The entire wedding is a two day process. First, the celebration beings are the bride’s place. The next day all the relatives & family & friends then go to Grooms place and the celebration continues.
The attire in ladakh vary a lot from the rest of India. This is due to the culture and due to the weather inn which the people stay. Usually their attire is made up on Yak and Goat Skin. It helps them keep warm.
Traditionally men’s wear a full length maroon colour woollen Robe called – GOUCHA. It is tied and fastened at the neck and at the waist its supported with a colourful ribbon like sash called – SKERAG.
Similar to mens attire women also wear woollen Robe but they are called as – KUNTOP. Their head and back is covered with a colourful shawl in which they carry their babies or food. It also helps them protect them from cold.
Based on the ranking in the family both men and women wear hats called – PERAKS. The lenght of the peraks display their ranking in the family.
The shoes worn are called – PAPU and are made up of Yak leather. It keeps their feet warm also also help them walk on snow during winters.
The most popular food in Ladakh are Thukpa – a form of soupy noodles and Tsampa – made up of barley flour. Since Ladakh was a strategically located for trade routes between India and China, the traders had to walk a long distance in extream weather and altitude. During this trade period the traders used to carry Tsampa as a source of nutrients as it was had a long shelf life. Thukpa was sually consumed during winters as the noodles was filling and soup keeps the body warm. Skyu, Momos, Butter tea are few other common cusine.
Ladakhi people are very active and sportive. Archery and Polo are very common sports in the region. During winters the villages form teams and have a competition. In the recent trend Ice Cricket is also seen played during the winters. During Summer Ladakh invites athletes for Ladakh Marathon. Its usually conducted in September of every year as people from all over the world participate in the event.