Hornbill Festival Kicks Off To Spirit Of Unity In Diversity - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

Hornbill Festival kicks off to spirit of unity in diversity

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Dec 02, 2023 12:19 am
Hornbill Festival
La. Ganesan and Neiphiu Rio sounding the gong signifying the opening of the Hornbill Festival 2023 at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, on Friday evening (EM image)

KOHIMA — The much-awaited 24th edition of Nagaland’s biggest festival – Hornbill Festival – kicked off on Friday evening at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, with thousands of visitors including local, domestic and international tourists attending the inaugural programme.

Chief host of the festival, Nagaland Governor La. Ganesan and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, host of the festival, opened the ten-day festival by sounding the traditional gong to a capacity crowd including participants clad in traditional attires.

Diplomats from the ‘partner countries’ for this year’s edition including the United States of America, Germany, and Colombia lauded the spirit of unity in diversity and the richness of the Naga cultural heritage.

Ambassador of USA to India, Eric Garcetti, Ambassador of Colombia to India, Dr. Victor Echeverri Jaramillo, British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, German Consul General, Kolkata, Barbara Voss all spoke at the inaugural programme.

Governor La. Ganesan, in his address, said the Hornbill Festival is a celebration that showcases the rich mix of the Naga heritage and embodies the spirit of unity in diversity.

Hornbill Festival
Boys from the Ukha Cultural Troupe, Mon district, beating the log drum during the opening act of the Hornbill Festival 2023 at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. (EM image)

“The festival is more than just a showcase of our rich culture; it is our open invitation to the world, welcoming all to immerse themselves in the warm embrace of Naga hospitality, to witness the warriors dance, to hear the ancient folk songs resonate, and to gaze upon the intricate weaves of our traditional attire”, he said.

The festival is a testament to the enduring spirit of the people and their deep-rooted traditions. “It transcends the boundaries of mere festivity and enters the realm of cultural exuberance,” Ganesan said.

The governor further said that the festival is a testament to the living traditions and memories of the people, kept alive through the pulsating beats of log drums, the lyrical tunes of folk singers, and the intricate footwork of the dancers.

In his welcome address, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, observed that over the years, the festival has transcended its initial vision, becoming a national and international sensation.

“Today, the festival stands as a must-visit attraction on the travel itineraries of both domestic and international travellers.

Hornbill Festival
Guests of the inaugural function of the 24th Hornbill Festival at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. (EM image)

Through this festival, the government aims not only to showcase the beauty of Nagaland but also to build bridges that connect the state with the world, he said while expressing confidence that the collaboration will strengthen ties, foster greater understanding, and create lasting memories.

This year’s Hornbill Festival promises to be a global showcase of cultural richness and diplomatic collaboration with the United States of America, Germany, and Colombia as the partner countries and Assam as the partner state.  

Earlier, Monte Chupa, chief of Kukegwo village under the Meluri sub-division, invoked the traditional blessing, Bishop of Kohima Diocese, Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, pronounced invocation and the festival’s co-host, Minister Temjen Imna Along, spoke words of gratitude.

The opening act of the Hornbill Festival was presented by 43 boys (aged between 7 to 14 years) from Ukha Cultural Troupe, Ukha village in Mon district. The boys, adorned in the Konyak traditional attires, beat the log drum signifying the welcome of heroes from battle. 

Also read: NTC says it was formed as ‘tribal apex body of Nagaland’ amid social unrest

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Dec 02, 2023 12:19:52 am
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