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Nagaland: 22nd Hornbill Festival 2021 underway


Central and State governments are working together to bring a “lasting solution” in the State and that the days are not very far from signing the much-awaited “peace agreement” with the “Naga rebel groups”, says Nagaland Governor Jagdish Mukhi

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

The 22nd edition of the globally popular Hornbill Festival 2021 began on a high note on Wednesday at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, Kohima, with Nagaland Governor, Prof Jagdish Mukhi, and Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, gracing the opening ceremony as the chief guest and chief host respectively.

Mukhi in his inaugural speech while welcoming all to the State—the land of festivals, said that the cultural extravaganza would enthrall guests from within and outside.

He said that the coming 10-days would witness the diverse cultures of Nagaland, the Northeast and also various adventurous sporting and musical events.

Prof Mukhi on the occasion, which also coincides with the Nagaland Statehood day, paid homage and tribute to all those who have toiled very hard and some even sacrificed their lives for the formation of the state.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the governor said that the Hornbill festival is being celebrated in a grand manner with support from all but reminded that the pandemic is far from over and its new variant is emerging for which he appealed all to be vigilant and continue to strictly follow the Covid-19 appropriate behaviours and urged all eligible persons who are not yet to be vaccinated to come forward and get vaccinated. 

He also urged the young generations to take pride in their tradition by preserving and promoting it.

Also informing that “eco-tourism” has huge potential for the socio-economic growth of our society which also could address the unemployment issue in the state to a considerable extent, the governor informed that the Central and State governments are working together to bring a “lasting solution” in the State and that the days are not very far for signing the much-awaited “peace agreement” with the “Naga rebel groups.”

He later wished all dignitaries and guests who have come from far and near that they would have a pleasant stay and would go back home with a memorable experience of the hospitality of the Naga people which are widely acclaimed.

Governor Mukhi also appreciated the medical professionals including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, ambulance drivers, attendants, Safai Karmacharies, and others from diverse professions for their devotion to duty and untiring support in the fight against COVID-19. He appealed to be vigilant and continue to strictly follow the COVID appropriate behaviours and urged all eligible persons who are not yet to be vaccinated to come forward and get vaccinated. 

Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, said that the 22nd edition of the Hornbill Festival 2021 is one of the most celebrated events in the subcontinent and added that the festival holds great significance for the people of Nagaland.

He said that it is a collaborative celebration of all Naga tribes at one venue with an intention to promote all the indigenous tribes of Nagaland, their culture and products to the rest of the world. Rio stated that the Hornbill Festival is one of the largest indigenous festivals where the uniqueness and diversity of the Nagas’ cultural identity is showcased in all its grandeur.

Also stating that the Hornbill festival continues to contribute immensely in enhancing the tourism brand of Nagaland and its people, Rio added that the festival alone creates thousands of employment avenues in multiple sectors thus providing opportunities to locales.

He also said that the 22nd Edition of the festival will be celebrated in 6 districts of the State.

Rio said that the festival should be considered not only just cultural festivity of mass get-togethers but a platform to experience the unique identity and cultural legacy while providing opportunities for the local economy to flourish.

He also urged the guests to discover and explore all the exciting activities such as indigenous games and sports, Naga cuisine, songs and dances, arts and craft, folklore etc.

Greetings were delivered by Ambassador of Israel to India, Naor Gilon, United States Consul General, Melinda Pavek, and Consul General of Germany, Manfred Auster.

Head GB, Sangpur village, K Lakiumong, invoked the traditional blessings while Festival Father, Mannyem Wangnao, Lungwa village, invoked the festival blessings.

Festival Host, Advisor, Khehovi Yepthomi delivered the vote of thanks.

The event also witnessed “Flight of the Hornbill”, a musical presentation by TaFMA and after show by the Fantastic Company.

Day-II witnesses colourful cultural extravaganza

Entering the 2nd day of the globally acclaimed 22nd edition Hornbill Festival 2021, the main event being held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, Kohima, witnessed colourful cultural performances by the 17 Naga tribes of Nagaland who connected the revelers through their theme “cultural connect”.

MLA and Advisor, Tourism, Arunachal Pradesh, Laisam Simai, and General Manager, North Frontier Railway (NFR), Anshul Gupta, were the guest of honour and special guest respectively for the cultural programme at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, Kohima.

In his address, the guest of honour, Laisam Simai, on behalf of the Arunachal people extended greetings and said Northeast states have many potentials as every state has its own unique identity and is been blessed in every field.

General Manager, North Frontier Railway (NFR), Anshul Gupta, in his address to the festive revellers said that Kohima and other districts have progressed very fast not only in the infrastructure but “culture and music”.

The morning session was hosted by, Minister of Housing and Mechanical, Tongpang Ozukum, and Advisor of Information and Technology, Science and Technology, New and Renewable Energy, Mmhonlumo Kikon, which was followed by presentation of the cultural folk dances, songs and indigenous games by Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Garo, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Lotha, and Phom cultural troupes.

The evening session hosted by Minister for Tribal Affairs and Higher Education, Temjen Imna Along, and Advisor for Food and Civil Supplies, Legal Metrology and Consumer Protection and Taxes, Pukhayi, saw Principal Chief Commissioner, Income Tax (CCA), NER, Ministry of Finance and Revenue, S H. Shyam Kumar,
as the guest of honour.

Performances of cultural dances and songs by the Pochury, Kachari, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimkhiung, Kuki and Zeliang Cultural troupes were the highlights.
The programme “cultural connect” was the cultural extravaganza presented by the department of Art & Culture, Nagaland, where all the cultural troupes representing the 17 Naga tribes from all corners of the State presented a glimpse into their rich cultural heritage to the visitors through songs and dances.

The 10 day long hornbill festival which has already entered its 2nd day would also witness the varied cultures and traditions of the Nagas which would be expressed visually through various forms of folk songs and dances, indigenous games, demonstration of rituals and folk dramas. It may be also mentioned that the dubbed “cultural connect” extravaganza ends the 10 day long festivities with a “unity dance” which is an approach to cultural homogenization among different tribes regardless of tribal distinctions and cultural variations.
The “unity dance” for Hornbill 2021 would be led by Lotha tribe which would be synchronized by the other participating tribes.

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