Sunday, Feb 11, 2024 12:30 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Feb 11, 2024 07:01 [IST]



Author: Pushpa Sharma

Translated into English by Mahesh Paudyal

Publisher: Buk Ant

160 pages


I recently got an opportunity to read a book authored by acclaimed scholar and professor, Pushpa Sharma.

Golsimal, originally penned in Nepali and now translated into English by Mahesh Paudyal, is a collection of Nepali folk tales that have passed across multiple generations. The wonderful stories from the Himalayan region of Sikkim and Darjeeling shed light on the lives of our people and highlight important cultures and traditions of our region.

The fluid writing style of Prof. Sharma coupled with her effortless storytelling prowess brings the age-old folktales to life. It is a delight and a knowledgeable experience to read stories like the Lepcha folktale ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and the story of Sumnima and Paruhang, who according to the Kirat Rais are believed to be avatars of Parvati and Lord Shiva. Similarly, the stories of Rongnit and Rongnue, the primary rivers of Sikkim, The Alder and the Rhododendron, Golsimal aka Sunchari, the Panda King, and the Milkweed bush also serve to rekindle the awareness of these tales, especially among the youth, who would probably have never heard about them.

In this modern age of social media and reels, reading folktales and being aware of them is important, which will help preserve the age-old culture and traditions and ensure that these stories are passed on to the next generation. Most of the stories also have a lesson at the end, which serves to inspire readers. Most importantly, at the end of each story, Prof. Sharma ensures that the cultural background of the tale is reiterated to enlighten the readers and imprint them on their subconscious minds.

Overall, Golsimal is a must-read not only for our older generations to relish the retelling of the folktales but also for the new generations to be aware of these age-old customs so that they can be preserved.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi