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Annual Hornbill Festival begins today
Correspondent KOHIMA, NOV 30 (NPN):
Published on 1 Dec. 2009 12:44 AM IST
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The seven-day annual carnival – Hornbill Festival billed as “festival of festivals” is all set to begin Tuesday with international outlook at the picturesque Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, about 8 kms away from the state capital, Kohima. Governor of Nagaland, Nikhil Kumar will inaugurate the Hornbill Festival at 10:30 a.m and also release the “Fables from the Misty Mountains – Folklores of the Nagas.” State chief minister, Neiphiu Rio will be the chief host on the occasion while Alemla Jamir, wife of the Governor of Maharashtra will be the guest of honour. The programme will be chaired by parliamentary secretary tourism, Yitachu and W.C. Krome, former President of Tenyimi Central Union, as the tribal guest of honour will pronounce Traditional Blessings upon the festival. Vote of thanks will be proposed by commissioner & secretary, tourism, art & culture, Khekiye K.Sema. Highlights of the inaugural programme include a presentation by Myanmarese Cultural Group, a special appearance by Thai Cultural Group and ‘Colours and Rhythms of Nagaland’ – a cultural exposition, concert by Japanese electronic band-Yoichi Suzuki, Kids Carnival, performance by Korean musicians at the Korean Pavilion, Korean- Naga Wrestling exhibition, Miss Nagaland, Hornbill National Rock Contest, Hornbill Naga Wrestling Championship and Hornbill Motor Rally. The festival with the theme “Heralding Culture” this year would see participation of four other nations including Korea, Thailand, Japan and Myanmar. Cultural troupes from the rest of the north eastern states are expected to join the festival. Another added attraction to the Hornbill festival will be Kohima night carnival which will provide ample avenues for night marketing and also outing and merrymaking. The second day of the festival will be marked by various presentations from the North Eastern states which is being organized by NEZCC, ministry of culture, government of India. There will be special presentations by Pynthar Orchestra, Rewben Mashangva & Son, Mizo Singer, Young Khasi Singers, Voices NA Rympei (Meghalaya), Zome Madrigat. Other highlights of the weeklong festival includes; exhibition of handloom & handicrafts, indigenous sports, food fair, display of traditional Naga Morungs, flower exhibition, cultural dances and songs, archive week celebration, musical concert etc. The Hornbill festival started as a five-day state festival in the year 2000 at the Kohima local ground and the annual festival gradually gained significance and later got recognized as a national event. The festival was a tribute to the Hornbill bird, the most admired bird of the Nagas for its alertness and grandeur. The bird is closely linked with the social and cultural life of the Nagas, as is evident in many tribal folklore, dances and songs. The festival was later extended to seven days. The state government decided to make a permanent site away from the already congested state capital and thus the present Kisama, Naga Heritage Village was selected and acquired from the two neighbouring villages of Phesama and Kigwema. Thus, the nomenclature of Kisama, the name for which was derived from the initial Kigwema (Ki) and combined the latter words of Phesama (sama). Interestingly, unlike other years, no official invitation or programme of the seven-day mega event was made available to the media till the time of filing this report.

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