Monday, July 15, 2024

Spectacular start to 22nd Hornbill Festival 2021

KOHIMA, DECEMBER 1: The famed Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, dubbed as the Festival of Festivals, got to a spectacular start with Governor of Assam & Nagaland Prof Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio striking the traditional gong of the Nagas at the picturesque Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, here.

The Hornbill Festival is being held after a gap of a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic attracting heavy rush of domestic tourists and a few foreigners while multitudes of locals also flocked the arena to witness a fusion of colorful cultural and western presentations, under the aegis of Task Force for Music and Arts on the brand “Flight of the Hornbill”.
The advisory of the Health and Family Welfare Department to avoid crowded places and to follow COVID appropriate behaviour was a faint memory on the inaugural day of the festivities.
Addressing the gathering, Governor of Assam & Nagaland Prof. Jagdish Mukhi hoped that the cultural extravaganza will enthrall guests from within and abroad.
Nagaland has rich culture, tradition and customs which are unique, he said while urging the young Naga generation to take pride in their tradition and also to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of the State.
Hornbill festival is a single platform where all Naga tribes showcase their rich culture and handicrafts to the world, he said, adding that it is also an avenue to promote tourism and allied economic activities.
Maintaining that COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenge to humankind worldwide, he said the pandemic is far from over and its new variants are emerging.
In this, the Governor appealed to all to be vigilant and continue to strictly follow the COVID appropriate behaviours during the festivities.
He also urged those eligible persons, who are not yet fully vaccinated, to come forward and get vaccinated.
Welcoming the visitors as the chief host, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said after a challenging year of toiling under the pandemic, the Hornbill Festival holds great significance for the people of Nagaland.
It is one of the largest indigenous festivals whereby the uniqueness and diversity of our cultural identity is showcased here in all its grandeur, he said. “This festival should be considered not only just cultural festivity of mass get-togethers but a platform to experience the unique identity and cultural legacy of our rich Naga traditions while also providing opportunities for the local economy to flourish”, he said.
The Hornbill Festival continues to contribute immensely in enhancing the tourism brand of Nagaland and its people as it gathers strength with every edition, he said. “Today, it has come a long way, crossing the boundaries of the State onto the global stage where people of all cultures, from all walks of life, gather as one people celebrating the gift of life, of community living, and humanity”, said Rio.

Diplomats from Israel, US & Germany greet Nagas
Diplomats from 3 foreign countries ~ Israel, US and Germany graced the occasion as the special guests of the inaugural function.
Ambassador of Israel to India Naor Gilon overwhelmed with the warm reception said it is a reflection a brotherly relations between Israel and India and Nagaland.
“Israel and Nagaland have special connects and bond… we share the deep commitment to preserving our ancient culture while encouraging development of a modern culture, he said.
Consul General of United States Melinda Pavek on her first visit to Nagaland said she is very excited to be here. She also congratulated the State on celebrating the 59th statehood day.
“You are excelling at preserving and promoting the Naga culture and tradition by celebrating and amplifying Nagaland’s diverse culture and tradition. You are protecting those cultural expressions and actively spread awareness of them among the people of Nagaland, India and the world”, she told the Nagas.
Commending the dedication of Nagas, she expressed hope that the Naga tradition and culture will live on and drive with great dedication.
Consul General of Germany Manfred Auber in his words said the programme is “world class” which is also in line with the European motto of “unity in diversity” in preserving the culture and tradition and uniting the people together. He encouraged the people of the State to continue it.
Head GB of Sangphur village, Tuensang district K Lakiumong pronounced traditional blessings while festival father from Longwa village Mannyem Wangnao offered the festival blessing and State Chaplain TW Yumyap Konyak said the dedicatory prayer. (Page News Service)