Tamang people

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A Tamang Woman
Buddhist Lama of the Tamang People, Tistung, Nepal

The Tamang (Devnagari: तामाङ; tāmāng), or Tamag, are indigenous inhabitants of the Himalayan regions of Nepal. They are one of the major Tibeto-Burman speaking communities and trace their ancestry from Tibet, and even further back to China. They have a distinct culture, language, and religion. Due to foreign invasions throughout the centuries, they have moved to other parts of South Asia. Today, they inhabit practically the entire mountainous regions of Nepal, and also adjoining regions of India, Myanmar and Bhutan.

Buddha Jayanti, or Saga Dawa in the Tibetan language, is the most important religious festival for Buddhist Tamangs. This festival is held on the full moon of the 4th month of the Buddhist calendar. On this day in different years of his life, Lord Buddha took birth, achieved enlightenment and attained nirvana. These three important events are celebrated in this festival. Tamangs pay a visit to the monasteries and offer khatag to Lord Buddha. A procession carries the holy scriptures of the teachings of Buddha from the monasteries. Tamangs in Nepal, Tibet, India, UK, USA, Bhutan, Myanmar and all over the world celebrate Buddha Jayanti in similar ways.


Main article: Tamang language

The Tamang language is in the Tibeto-Burman language group.

According to the census of 2001, 92% of the Tamang people speak in their own mother tongue, Tamang. Their script is known as Sambhota, but one of the leading Tamang organizations, Nepal Tamang Ghedung, has been using a script known as Tamyig, which is a well-known modified version of the Sambhota script.

However, over the years, several communities like the Sherpas, Bhutias, Lepchas, Gurung and the Tamangs speak Nepali and Hindi. Nepali has turned out to be the dominant language in the hills of Darjeeling and has helped provide the different tribal groups in the region a common medium of communication.

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