Nagaland: Ambassadors express delight attending Hornbill Festival
Kohima, Dec. 2 (EMN): Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, expressed happiness on being welcomed to the 23rd edition of the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland and said he is here for the first time for various reasons.
He was speaking during the inaugural programme of the “Festival of Festivals” in the presence of Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar; Nagaland Governor, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi; and Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio.
Lenain said he was overwhelmed with emotions while riding in Kohima by recalling the history where one of the fiercest of battles took place in the city during Second World War in the middle of the year 1944. He said the battle changed the course of the war in the Asian front.
Lenain reminded that such stories of valour and sacrifices which had ended the terrible moment of human history binds people together at present. The ambassador expressed delight to be here for the beautiful mountains and landscapes which he termed as a “treasure of natural heritage” that reminds him of a similar place in his country.
Lenain said he was impressed to see the unique events in the picturesque amphitheatre to rejoice the festival with the people. He stated that like in Nagaland, they also preserve an impressive treasure of traditions, songs and dances, local cuisines, crafts and jewelleries, culture and customs in the European Union.
He apprised that through an event called “United in Diversity,” different tribes comes together to display their cultural diversity, which has been enshrined in their convention to protect diversity.
Alan Gemmell, British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India, while expressing happiness to be back in the Naga Hills, recalled that back in 2016 he witnessed a stone pulling festival of the golden jubilee of the Angami Sports Association.
Hornbill Festival, he said, is a tribute to the Hornbill as well as to the rich culture and the way of life of the people of Nagaland.
Gemmell said he was excited about the culture as well as the products of Nagaland, which offered opportunity to trade with UK after meeting various local entrepreneurs. He informed that some local business products which are already in different parts of India are also made available in UK and Europe.
Gemmell stated that they can “start telling the world about the world-class products and craftsmanship in Nagaland.” He expressed positivism to promote a free trade between UK and India as soon as possible to benefit the people.
He also acknowledged the people of Kohima and Nagaland for the critical role they played during World War-II.
Barry O’Farrel Ao, Australian High Commissioner to India, also expressed delight to land in Kohima to witness the “remarkable celebration of the diversity” of the state after dreaming to visit for many years.
With restrictions on Australian tourism being lifted, he expressed hope that they would able to collaborate with the Indian tourism so that they could come and join the festival in the days to come.
Barry said Australia is a small country in the south Pacific which is known for sports animals including poisonous snakes and spiders but are also a cultural community of 25.5 million people.
“More than half of Austrian people are overseas which connects them with the world including India and about seven lakhs born in India are in Australia as a family together,” he informed. He added that they have indigenous people whose voices and perspectives are supported in their country.
He further emphasised on how tribal practices could help them solve their problems.