Kohima: The 10-day-long Grand Hornbill Festival of Nagaland got off to a spectacular start with the beating of Naga gongs, sounding of log drums, traditional war cry and gunshots echoing the picturesque Naga Heritage village Kisama.
AdvertisementHornbill Festival, an annual tourism promotional event of the state government coined as the Festival of Festivals, is the coming together of the 18 major tribes and other sub-tribes of Nagaland showcasing the rich culture and tradition of the Nagas.
The cultural festival’s major attraction was the 47 Konyak boys, aged below 15 years from Ukha village of Mon district, dressed in traditional attire beating the Naga log drum amid the traditional gunshots by their elders. Germany, Colombia and USA, which are the three foreign partners of this year’s festival, have brought their cultural troupes and rock bands. Speaking on the occasion, US Ambassador Eric Garcetti, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis, Colombia Ambassador Dr. Victor Echeverri Jaramillo and German Consul General Barbara Voss expressed their happiness to be part of the festival.
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AdvertisementNagaland Governor La. Ganesan, who was the chief host of the festival, welcomed the foreign diplomats and visitors. ”It is a celebration that not only showcases the rich mix of our Naga heritage, but also embodies the spirit of unity in diversity,” he said. Stating that the festival is more than just a showcase of the rich Naga culture, the governor said it is an 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. ”The Hornbill Festival is not just a convergence of various artistic expressions; it is a testament to the living traditions and memories of our people, kept alive through the pulsating beats of log drums, the lyrical tunes of folk singers, and the intricate footwork of our dancers,” he said. As the host of the festival, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the 24th edition of the Hornbill Festival offers more than just a visual spectacle. ”It provides a closer understanding of the people, offering a ringside view of this elusive land, its inhabitants, and their culture,” he said. ”Over the years, this festival has transcended its initial vision, becoming a national and international sensation. Today, it stands as a must-visit attraction on the travel itineraries of both domestic and international travellers,” said Rio. ”This year, the festival promises to be a global showcase of cultural richness and diplomatic collaboration as we are honored to welcome the United States of America, Germany and Colombia as our prominent partner countries. We are also happy to welcome the State of Assam as the partner state,” he said. From Saturday morning, the 10-day festival has a daily line of morning and evening sessions of cultural extravaganza which will conclude on December 10 evening. Beside the cultural performances at Kisama, various activities are also spread over other districts of the state.