Curtain falls on Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival 2022 after 10 days of cultural extravaganza
‘Festival brings people together from across the globe’
Kisama, Dec. 10 (EMN): The 23rd edition of Hornbill Festival 2022 came to a close on Saturday after 10 days of activities with all the cultural troupes that participated in this year’s edition taking part in unity dance around a bonfire here at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.
Australian Chef Gary Mehigan, who has been in the state throughout the Hornbill Festival this year, lighted the Hornbill Bonfire along with Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Supreme Court Judge Sanjay Kishan Kaul and others.
Addressing the gathering during the closing ceremony, Rio said there is an amazing amount of knowledge and experience in the Hornbill Festival that can be shared and learned from.
“A festival is a place for people to gather and to share. In this very spirit, the past nine days saw the coming together of all the tribes and sub-tribes of Nagaland, government departments, NGOs, businessmen and women, adventure enthusiasts, artistes and artisans, farmers, growers etc. to the foothills of towering Mount Japfü to celebrate the past, the current and, most importantly share the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage with the world,” he said.
“Right now, unity is something we all need, not just in our sector, but in our society- the unity to work together and to take the right and responsible steps, to continue moving forward, hand in hand. That is the vision for which we are working and that is the vision that we can only achieve together,” Rio added.
Tourists and visitors arrived in Nagaland as strangers but will now depart as friends, he said while requested them to be the ambassadors of the state so that more people can experience the festival in the coming years.
He also thanked the people of Nagaland, the cultural troupes and artistes from various parts of state, tourists and visitors for their valuable presence during the festival.
Speaking on the occasion, honoured guest of the ceremony, Judge Supreme Court of India, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said that Nagaland has been on the national and international map of tourism, which is a positive step towards ushering in development in the state.
This kind of festival brings people together from across the globe and creates a sense of unity in diversity, he said, adding, “Nagas are known not only for their bravery but hospitality and warmth.”
The customary laws and traditions of the Nagas are unique, protected under the Constitution of India and Supreme Court has been recognising and upholding the Naga customary laws, he said.
‘Judiciary is an important pillar of democracy which gives opportunity and mechanism for dispute resolution. A strong effective and vibrant judiciary is the backbone of the society,’ he added.
“In order to ensure that no one misses out the opportunity to approach courts due to social and economic barriers, as Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority, it is my duty to ensure access to justice for all by bridging the gaps,” Kaul assured.
Festival Host, H Khehovi Yeputhomi, who is the advisor for Tourism, Art and Culture, delivered the vote of thanks, making a special mention of the mention of the cultural troupes that performed during the 10 days of celebration. He also thanked the participants, organisers and sponsors for the successful culmination of the festival.
1.40 lakh visitors recorded
The 23rd edition of Hornbill Festival recorded 1,40,299 visitors, including 90,860 locals, 48,413 domestic and 1026 foreign tourists, according to data made available by Nagaland Tourism department.
In 2019, the 10-day annual event, dubbed as the “Festival of festivals”, recorded 2,82,811 visitors, including 2,24,212 locals, 55,584 domestic and 3015 foreign tourists, but it was cancelled in 2020 following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which paralysed the normal across the world.
The festival, however, resumed in 2021 but was stopped midway due to the Oting firing incident. A total of 56,356 visitors, including 41,764 locals, 14,538 domestic and 54 foreign tourists were recorded over four days- from December 1 to the 4th, last year.