Sekrenyi-cum-mini Hornbill festival begins

Sekrenyi-cum-mini Hornbill festival begins
Hekhushe inaugurating the stalls at Khuochiezie (Local Ground). (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, FEB 25 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/25/2020 12:31:58 PM IST

The three-day Angami Sekrenyi-cum-mini Hornbill festival began at Khuochiezie (Local Ground) Kohima under the theme “Restoring Values”, with chief minister Neiphiu Rio as chief host and Sumi Hoho president Hekhushe Shikhu as honoured guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Shikhu reminded that though there were no written documents; yet oral traditions passed down through generations, point to Sumis being the younger brothers of Angamis. He  said there was similarity in lifestyle, culture, language and routes of the migration between the two communities. Based on these, he said Sumis strongly believe in brotherhood among the two and always kept the Angami people close to their hearts as brothers. He therefore, appealed to members of Sumi community residing in Kohima to live in harmony with the Angamis.

He also remarked that by virtue of geography, the Sumis and Angamis were blessed to be neighbours since time immemorial and over the course of shared history, the two communities faced many challenges together. He said brave men and women from both the communities fought and died together for nearly a century for Naga nationalism by agreeing to work together on many things though there were disagreements over few things. Nevertheless, Shikhu said the two communities chose to respect each other and would continue to work towards shaping the shared future with unity and brotherhood to prosper together.

He maintained that the Angami people were one of the most blessed people among the Nagas as God chose Kohima to be the State’s Capital and as the epicentre for growth and progress for entire Naga people.

Shikhu mentioned that there were thousands of Sumis who had left their homes, villages and land and had chosen to live along with the Angamis as proud citizens of Kohima.

He asserted that  a Sumi cemetery in the State Capital testified to  the fact that Sumis in Kohima were living comfortably with full security, satisfaction and had a strong feeling of belongingness. 

He said both communities were emotionally attached with the place and thanked the landowners for providing sufficient space and in making them feel at home.

Shikhu also pointed out the Angamis have one of the most colourful and beautiful traditional attire, vibrant culture and rich language among the Nagas and also pointed out that Ura Academy was a role model for rest of the Nagas to emulate. He said this showed the progress and advancement Angamis had made in restoring and preserving cultural values.

As the Sekrenyi festival is celebrated for purification and sanctification, Shikhu appealed to the younger generation to value their culture, preserve their tradition, language and identity. He also expressed the hope that the festival would bring peace, prosperity and unity among all the Naga communities, particularly the Angamis.

In his brief address, chief minister Neiphiu Rio said Sekrenyi should serve as a reminder of the rich culture and tradition of the people and also motivate them to preserve and restore the positive values and practices that gave the Nagas their identity.

Rio also renewed his call on Nagas to unite and expressed hope that through this festival God will bless and give prosperity to the Angamis.

Youth resources and sports adviser Er Zale Neikha also delivered a short speech on the occasion, while Angami Public Organisation(APO) president Dr Kepelhusie Terhüja extended Sekrenyi greetings. 

Special guests of the event were members from the Chakhesang, Pochury, Rengma and Zeliang communities.

A host of legislators, senior government officials, NGOs and others joined the grand celebration.

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