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Speech of Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Shriniwas Patil on the occasion of Pang Lhabsol 2013.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling, Hon’ble Ministers and Members of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Hon’ble Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Revered Monks and Religious Heads, Respected Teachers, Students, Officials of the State Government, Dear friends and Honoured Guests.

On this auspicious occasion of Pang Lhabsol , I would like to convey my best wishes to the people of Sikkim. We are all gathered here today to pay homage to Mount Khangchendzonga , the guardian deity of Sikkim and renew our close relation with nature and the world around us. On this day, we also pledge ourselves to the ideals of brotherhood, peace and communal harmony.

Pang Lhabsol is one of the biggest socio-cultural festivals of the State. It is also known for its uniqueness. With its long history, it has shaped the social, political and spiritual development of our State.

The festival originates from a social pact between the Lepcha tribes led by their chieftain Thekong Thek and Bhutia tribes under the guardianship of Khye Bumsa . The swearing of the oath of blood brotherhood between Lepchas and Bhutias at Kabi -Lungchok in north Sikkim was an event of marked significance for Sikkim. Legends inform us that it was witnessed by all the local deities led by Mount Khangchendzonga - the guardian deity of Sikkim. It has, since then helped to foster a culture of unity, peace and harmony among all communities in Sikkim. Over the centuries, Pang Lhabsol has become an integral part of the Sikkimese way of life. Perhaps, it is due to the abiding spirit of Pang Lhabsol that Sikkim stands out as an island of peace and tranquillity in a world torn by conflicts of various kinds.

Pang Lhabsol festival also has another important element- which is the worship of Mount Khangchendzonga . By paying obeisance to nature, Pang Lhabsol is a unique festival. It calls for harmonious existence between different communities and as well as between man and environment. Festivals such as these, teaches us to revere and respect nature and bestow its rightful place in order to maintain ecological balance. For we have seen that exploitation and disregard to nature can result in disastrous consequences.

In our times, Pang Lhabsol has come to symbolize the unity and brotherhood of all major communities of Sikkim - Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalese as well as others. The people of Sikkim should continue to be the shining light and spread the message of peace and unity.

I also take the opportunity to laud the consistent efforts of the Government of India and the Government of Sikkim to ensure peace and prosperity throughout the State. I must also commend the noteworthy contributions made by Sikkimese civil society and people from all walks of life that have enhanced and institutionalized the spirit of unity and harmony in Sikkim.

It is a privilege for me to be a part of this event. It was a great pleasure to witness the myriad and colourful presentation of music, dances and cultural forms of the people of Sikkim. I congratulate the organizing committee, social organizations, teachers, students and government departments for ensuring a very successful celebration of Pang Lhabsol this year.
Let us all work to preserve the essence of Pang Lhabsol in order to maintain unity and promote brotherhood in our State.

Thank you.

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