Kohima: The 22nd Hornbill Festival, 2021, began on a high note at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama near Kohima today. Governor of Nagaland and Assam, Prof Jagdish Mukhi graced the opening ceremony as the special guest and Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio as the chief host.
Prof Jagdish Mukhi stated that Nagaland is a place with rich culture, tradition and customs which are unique. He also said that the dance and music are well known worldwide and urged the young generation to take pride in one’s tradition and to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland. “Nagaland is bestowed with rich biodiversity both flora and fauna and there is a need to harness it for the development of the State,” while adding that eco-tourism has a huge potential for the socio-economic growth and it can address the unemployment issue to a considerable extent.
Stating that Hornbill Festival is a single platform where all the tribes showcase their rich culture and handicrafts to the world, he wished the dignitaries and guests who have come from far and near a pleasant stay and to go back with memorable experience of the hospitality of the Naga people which is widely acclaimed.
Governor Mukhi then appreciated the medical professionals including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, ambulance drivers, attendants, safai karmacharies, and many more from other diverse professions for their devotion to duty and untiring support in the fight against COVID-19. He appealed to be vigilant and continue to strictly follow the COVID appropriate behaviours and urged all eligible persons who are not yet to be vaccinated to come forward and get vaccinated.
Also speaking on the occasion, Neiphiu Rio said that the Hornbill Festival is one of the most celebrated events in the subcontinent and added that the festival holds great significance for the people of Nagaland. He further said that it is a collaborative celebration of “all Naga tribes” at one venue with an intention to promote all the indigenous tribes of Nagaland, their culture and products to the rest of the world. Rio also stated that the Hornbill Festival is one of the largest indigenous festivals where the uniqueness and diversity of the Nagas’ cultural identity is showcased in all its grandeur. He added that the 22nd edition of the festival will be celebrated in 6 districts of the State.
Rio then said that the festival should be considered not only just cultural festivity of mass get-togethers but a platform to experience the unique identity and cultural legacy while providing opportunities for the local economy to flourish. He also said that the festival has evolved and getting bigger by the year. Rio also said the Hornbill Festival contributes immensely in enhancing the tourism brand of Nagaland, adding that the festival is a team effort. He urged the guests to discover and explore all the exciting activities such as indigenous games and sports, Naga cuisine, songs and dances, arts and craft, folklore etc.
Greetings were delivered by Ambassador of Israel to India, Naor Gilon; United States Consul General, Melinda Pavek and Consul General of Germany, Manfred Auster.
Head GB Sangpur, K Lakiumong invoked the traditional blessings while Festival Father, Mannyem Wangnao invoked the festival blessings.
Festival host, Advisor, Khehovi Yepthomi delivered the vote of thanks. It was followed by Flight of the Hornbill, a musical presentation by TaFMA and after show by the Fantastic Company.