Nagaland gears up for 10-day Hornbill festival

Nagaland gears up for 10-day Hornbill festival

Kohima, Nov 25 (PTI) Nagaland is gearing up to host the 10-day Hornbill festival from December 1, with all tribes of the state scheduled to participate in the cultural extravaganza.

This year, Germany, United States and Colombia are the official partner countries of the event, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said.

Seven tribes from eastern Nagaland will participate in the festival after a gap of two years.

Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO), which represents the seven tribes of the region, had withdrawn from the event in 2021 in the wake of the Oting incident, in which 13 civilians were gunned down by security forces in a botched operation.

They also did not participate in the event last year to press for their demand for a separate state in eastern Nagaland comprising seven districts.

'We are grateful to the ENPO for assertively coming forward to show the unity of the Nagas and willingness to participate with all fervour in the ensuing festival of festivals,' Tourism Minister Temjen Imna Along told reporters on Friday evening.

The state government has dubbed Hornbill festival, its annual tourism promotional event, as the 'festival of festivals'. The event is held from December 1-10 every year at the Naga Heritage Village at Kisama, around 12 km from state capital Kohima.

This year will witness the 24th edition of the festival, with the inaugural day coinciding with the 60th statehood day of Nagaland. Hornbill festival is called the 'festival of festivals' as it marks the coming together of all the tribes of Nagaland to showcase their culture and traditions, and the celebration is also the culmination of all tribal festivals throughout the year.

It is also a tribute to Hornbill bird, which is admired and revered by Nagas for its alertness and grandeur.

Along said the CM reviewed the preparations for the event on Friday.

'This year will be a special edition as it is a prelude to the silver jubilee celebrations of the festival next year,' he said.

Meanwhile, Rio, on social media, announced that the United States of America, Colombia and Germany are official partner countries for the ensuing Hornbill festival.

He hoped that the partnerships would boost bilateral collaborations for mutual benefit.

Among other programmes during the 10-day festival, Rio said Nagaland will host a German business delegation for a round-table discussion with the Investment and Development Authority of Nagaland.

German rock band ELM Tree will also participate in the Hornbill Music Festival and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata will screen popular German film productions at the film festival.

Rio said cultural ambassadors from Colombia will participate in the music events during the festival.

'This partnership will add more value and diversity to the festival and we look forward to greater collaboration between the two countries (India and Colombia),' he said.

'We are also looking forward to hosting an American music band and participation of the US in a number of events at the festival,' he said.

Asked about the collaborative interest with the partner countries, Along said nothing has been finalised as yet but deeper discussions on issues beyond tradition and culture will be held during their stay. PTI NBS ACD

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