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Case Studies | Social Science | Bhutan | Volume 7 Issue 11, November 2018
Decline of Sergamathang-Kothkin (Cross-Cousin Marriage) Among Sharchop Community in Eastern Bhutan: A Case Study of People visiting Deorali Gumpa, Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Tanka. Dhital Nath
Abstract: The Sharchop (meaning Easterner), are an indo-mongoloid people who have migrated from Assam or possible from Burma during the past 1000 years. Van Driem (1993) indicates the Sharchop and the closely related aboriginal Monpa (Menba) are the descendants of the plurality ethnicity of bhutan and the principal pre-Tibetan (pre-Dzongkha) people of that country. The Sharchop comprises most of the population of eastern Bhutan. Although long the biggest single ethnic group in Bhutan, the Sharchop have largely assimilated into the Tibetan-Ngalop culture. The people of eastern bhutan claim their descents from Lhasey Tsangma Tibetan Price) and speaking tshangkhala prefers cousin endogamy in which cross-cousin shares sexual relationships and marital union. Sergamathang, literary golden cousin is a Tsangla word for the daughter of ones mothers brother or fathers sister. The custom of cross-cousin marriage in Eastern Bhutan was Tibetan origin in nature. Most Sharchops follows Tibetan Buddhism with some elements of Bon. They traditionally practiced slash- burn and Tsheri agriculture, planning dry rice crops for three or four years until the soil is exhausted. This work tries to find out how this customs of cross-cousin originated, why people of that community prefer Cross-cousins marriages, and factor that led to decline of cross-cousin marriage which was popular once upon a time.
Keywords: Sergamathang, Kothkin, tradition, social stigma, stages of marriage
Edition: Volume 7 Issue 11, November 2018,
Pages: 681 - 687
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