Views & Reviews
Value Driven Hornbill Festival
The forthcoming ‘Hornbill Festival 2018’ has once again brought about a much needed facelift to the state capital-Kohima. Even though in limited stretches, I find myself driving on better roads. Public places are painted vibrantly and tangling lines/cables looking much more organized. It is certainly an off the chart feeling. Plastic free zones have also been conceptualized, which I earnestly hope will gain impetus for a ‘Plastic Free Nagaland’ in times to come.
But, while the preparation spree is on, considering that the festival is just a week away, it is too much too little. Being a recurring annual event, I see no reason that it should get anyone off guard when it comes to preparation part of it. Besides, it’s sad that the Hornbill festival should be considered a yardstick for beautification of Nagaland par se; with conscious development effort overlapping the Hornbill festival.
As a general topic, whenever the state of Nagaland is touched upon, be it in magazine write-ups, TV telecast or a tete-a-tete with friends; the Hornbill festival does receive noteworthy mention. So whereas the Hornbill festival may not have necessary stature in terms of the proceeds it generates, it does have a credential in charting Nagaland among the list of tourist destinations and therefore no longer is a visit to Nagaland without reason, even if season based.
I am often approached by acquaintances for value tips pertinent to fooding, lodging, bare necessities for the trip and information pertaining to extravaganza the Hornbill festival offers? Not the least, as irking as it may sound, the query as to if the place is safe for non Nagas? Well, I certainly can’t vouch for a perfect holiday that is worth every penny spent, but as far as safety goes… I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever! But it is encouraging that in this year’s edition of the Hornbill Festival, a special team of Police and IRB, so called ‘Tourist Police’, have been earmarked to ensure what has been guaranteed – a 24×7 foolproof security to tourists. Such arrangements will definitely go a long way towards attracting more participation, now as well as in times to come. However such security arrangements should remain constant year round, even if in lesser numbers, as tourists cannot be bound by a particular timeframe and attributes like mood, space, finances, holiday offers, etc… do have its considerations.
For organizers and artists, the task is tremendous; this to deliver an immaculate conduct and performances that’s not only self-gratifying but acknowledged for as well. Incessant rehearsals prior in every preparatory stage entails one to forfeit personal requirements to an extent, however, there is also the benefit of learning and the beauty of perfection. Participation, especially children/youth, therefore has to encouraged so that awareness of the various cultural practices is kept alive, which apparently is being neglected in our quest to keep up pace with all that is trending and modern. Whereas change is good, still it would be imprudent to forget our past?
Further, the Hornbill festival being a collective effort of all Naga tribes, stages a perfect platform to reach out to people and to let them feel at home. Hospitality is a trait wherein an unwelcoming behaviour of few will eclipsed the good deeds of many. While an individual may present his/her mannerism with ease, challenges do get tested when the requirement is from the general public. Hospitality is irrespective of time, space, reasons or occasions. And for Nagas, it is a trait inherent in our nature and there is absolutely no requirement to go out of way to prove anything to anyone. It is a practice that should come about effortlessly. What we need to bear in mind is that while occasions will come and go, impressions will manifest lifelong.
May the 19th edition of the Hornbill festival be a grand success wholesomely driven by culture and values.