All Roads Lead To State Stadium Dimapur As Thousands Gather To Celebrate Sekrenyi Festival - Eastern Mirror
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Dimapur, Nagaland

All roads lead to State Stadium Dimapur as thousands gather to celebrate Sekrenyi festival

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Feb 25, 2024 12:32 am
Sekrenyi festival
Neiphiu Rio and his colleagues join the crowd in the unity dance e during the Sekrenyi festival at State stadium Dimapur on Saturday.  (DPRO Dimapur)

DIMAPUR — Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday stressed the importance of imbibing the values of honesty and truthfulness as well as transmission of cultural taboos from one generation to the next.

Addressing a huge crowd, estimated to be more than 10,000 people comprising invitees and well-wishers from various communities besides the Angamis, who were gathered at the State Stadium Dimapur to celebrate the Sekrenyi-cum-Mini Hornbill Festival, Rio dwelled on the essence of Sekrenyi as a unifying force, fostering familiar ties and inspiring aspirations for the future.

Sekrenyi festival
Neiphiu Rio addressing Sekrenyi festival at State stadium Dimapur on Saturday.  (EM Images)

He said that festivals foster community bonds while highlighting how such celebrations revive ancestral traditions, promote peaceful coexistence and unity among the people.

He also emphasised the importance of hard work and prudent resource management while cautioning the detrimental effects of modern greed on the environment.

The chief minister lauded Angami Public Organisation (APO) for organising the event and expressed gratitude to all participants, particularly from the Chakhroma area for their active involvement in the preparation of Sekrenyi, the premier festival of the Angami tribe which marks purification of the body and sanctification of thoughts.

Sekrenyi festival
TR Zeliang addressing Sekrenyi festival at State stadium Dimapur on Saturday.  (EM Images)

After the festivities, he also took to X to share about the significance of the festival.

“I hope Sekrenyi festival will rebuild our strong foundations of unity and take our people towards a more secure, just and meaningful future for all sections of the society,” he wrote while thanking the guests for joining the joyous occasion.

“Our exclusive customs, found nowhere else in the world, is our biggest strength. But let us also appreciate the customs of other societies both within and outside the State. We must respect each other’s beliefs and practices for peaceful coexistence,” he added.

Sekrenyi festival
Y Patton addressing Sekrenyi festival at State stadium Dimapur on Saturday.  (EM Images)

Naga issue should be settled

Speaking at the event, Deputy CM TR Zeliang said the present generation is faced with numerous obstacles on several front due to the unresolved Naga political issue, adding that “we should not leave it unsettled for our posterity.”

It is the desire of the PDA government that both the negotiating parties — NSCN (IM) and the WC-NNPG on one hand and the Government of India on the other — come to an amicable settlement by inking a settlement that is inclusive, honourable and acceptable as aspired by the Naga people at large.

“At a critical time such as this, it is important for all of us to stand together as a united entity and I hope that today’s Sekrenyi-cum-Mini Hornbill Festival will bring forth unity not only within the Angami community but also within the Naga family in order to bring the Indo-Naga issue to its logical conclusion,” he said.

TR Zeliang lauded the organisers of Sekrenyi for choosing Dimapur as the venue of the festival, saying that the city will become Mini-Hornbill Festival destination if other communities also adopt a similar practice.

“This way, we can expect regular flow of tourists in to our State, not only during Hornbill Festival in Kisama but even in Dimapur round the year,” he said.

He went on to say Hornbill Festival brings the people of the state closer to each another, as all tribes put up their respective cultural performances.

Cultural diversity is our strength

Deputy CM Y Patton, who also attended the festival, said that “as Nagas, our cultural diversity is our strength”.

The PDA government strives to nurture each tribe’s cultural uniqueness, bring all communities together in the spirit of harmony and provide opportunities to local entrepreneurs while showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the respective tribes, he told the gathering.

“I am overjoyed to witness such a cultural extravaganza at a time when young people are more interested in adapting to Western culture than in following our own Naga tradition,” he said.

“We have started identifying ourselves as Central Nagaland, ENPO, Tenyimia, etc. but we are all Nagas, no matter where we are geographically located. So let us learn to live in harmony with each other and support one another towards taking our society to greater heights,” he added.

Jacob Zhimomi, Minister for Public Health Engineering and Cooperation; Salhoutuonuo Kruse, Minister of Women Resource Development; Tovihoto Zhimomi, Advisor for Tribal Affairs and Election, and Moatoshi Longkumer, Advisor for Labour, Employment and Skill Development and Excise, and several other political leaders attended the festival, which was marked by cultural performances by various troupes.

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Feb 25, 2024 12:32:18 am
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