The people here mostly belong to the Monpa tribe who follow patriarchal norms, and permit polygamy. They have Tibeto-Mongoloid origins and are considered to be friendly and easy-going. They follow Buddhism but continue with tribal customs like animal sacrificing during their important festivals.
The people make their living by growing crops, mostly shifting agriculture. They grow one type of crops like barley, rice, or maize for a few seasons in one area. Then the area is cleared of all vegetation, and the area is abandoned for a few years until the soil's fertility is restored
The Monpas are also good at wood-carving, weaving, and traditional Buddhist thangka paintings on silk, a tribute to their Tibetan origins.
Some of the traditional dishes you can savour in this area are:
• Monpa style chicken curry cooked with soya bean and local cheese served with rice.
• Phenang Khongba, a favourite cooked in large quantities, is made from maize and beans and is cooked for over six hours until it is creamy and delicious.
• Fish in a thin gravy with leafy vegetables eaten with generously buttered rice.
• Arak, home-brewed alcohol made of rice. It is a taste that needs getting used to.
• Bangchong: a sour alcoholic beverage with fermented rice, kiwi, and maize. Some people can get a serious hangover with this one.
• Butter tea, considered a sacred drink and served to honour guests, is concentrated black tea churned with butter, milk, and salt.