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24th Hornbill Festival concludes with Made in Nagaland & Bonfire

Closing Ceremony of Hornbill Festival 2023
US Consul General, Melinda Pavek; British Deputy High Commissioner, Dr Andrew Fleming; Minister Tourism & Higher Education, Temjen Imna Along; Chief Secretary, J Alam IAS; Miss Nagaland 2023 along with the first and second runners-up lighting the bonfire marking the closing of the Hornbill Festival 2023 at Kisama. (DIPR)

Domestic tourists decline while foreigners increase by 100%

KOHIMA, DECEMBER 10: The much hyped Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, a spectacular display of tradition and culture of the 18 tribes of State at the Naga Heritage Village Kisama in Kohima district came to grand finale with cultural dance ‘Made in Nagaland’, Unity Dance and bon fire.
The 10-day gala event at Kisama had a footfall of 1,54,057 visitors which include 1,14,860 locals, 37,089 domestic tourists and 2,108 foreigners, as per statistics issued by the Tourism Department.
Today, being the last day, had the highest footfall at 23,583 while second highest was last Sunday at 18,002 visitors.
Honoured guests from United States Consul General, Melinda Pavek and British Deputy High Commissioner, Dr. Andrew Fleming along with Co-host of the festival, Nagaland Minister for Tourism and Higher Education, Temjen Imna Along and winners of Miss Nagaland 2023 lit the bonfire around which the Unity Dance was held symbolizing the conclusion of festival.
UK looks to collaborations with Nagaland beyond culture: Dr Fleming
In his address, Dr Fleming said UK looks to collaborations with Nagaland not only in culture but also in education, skills training, horticulture, agro-tech, sports and in exploring the potential of the ‘visitor economy’ in the State as part of its focus on promoting tourism.
He said UK and Nagaland also share a love of music in common and UK musicians have been part of the Hornbill earlier under the auspice of the British Council.
Appreciating Nagaland’s musicians, he hoped to collaborate in the near future.
He said the UK looked to strengthen ties with the State further in the future.
Dr Fleming also said that another area the UK is keen to explore is the tourism potential in a State.
He assured to come back after the festivals and have dialogue with the State Government.
Hornbill fest is a way of preserving the unique culture: Pavek
Addressing the conclusion ceremony, Pavek said festivals like the Hornbill, with all the major Naga tribes represented together, in partnership, are a way of preserving the unique cultures that make this State special, which is important to ensuring each person’s inalienable human rights, she said.
The Hornbill festival may be one of the first in India and the Northeast that included representatives from US Tribal Nations, but it won’t be the last, she said.
Meanwhile, Pavek said today, December 10, also marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world’s most groundbreaking global pledges ~ The universal declaration of human rights.
This landmark document enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, she said.
This document remains an aspiration in many ways and our efforts to live up to its full potential are inherent in our values, as people, as communities, as tribes, as nations, she said.
Nagaland Minister Tourism & Higher Education, Temjen Imna Along, delivering the closing remark, said that over the past 9 days the festival witnessed a remarkable coming together of diverse communities each representing a unique facet of Nagaland tribes, Government bodies, NGOs, artists and entrepreneurs to weave a beautiful picture of cultural richness and share the essence of Naga heritage with the world.
Along also remarked that the envisioning of the Hornbill Festival for the Nagas resonates with the celebration of faithfulness and unity and called on the visitors to take back the message of unity among the Nagas and resonate with the spirit of the Hornbill Festival.
Mention may be made here that, the 24th edition of Hornbill festival at Kisama witnessed an increase of 13,758 visitors compared to last year’s footfall of 1,40,299 in 10-days.
However, while there has been a sharp decrease in the number of domestic tourists – from 48,413 in 2022 to 37,089 domestic tourists, visit of foreigners have increased by more than 100% – from 1,026 (2022) to 2,108 foreigners this year.
Beside visit of locals to Kisama also increased from 90,860 (2022) to 1,14,860 this year, the Departments statistics stated.
Angami Morung declared best Morung
Traditional huts adorned with tribal designs became hubs of cultural exchanges as visitors flocked to experience the richness of Naga tradition at the Hornbill Festival, which concluded today.
Various tribes showcased their unique traditions through intricately designed morungs, offering a glimpse into their heritage. Each morung served authentic cuisines and presented distinctive cultural elements, including traditional dresses and captivating dances.
Culminating in a grand finale, the Morung affiliated with the Angami Tribe was declared the Best Morung at the Hornbill Festival 2023 edition.
(Page News Service)