Hornbill fest gets off to colourful start

Kohima: The annual Hornbill festival today got off to a colourful start as traditionally attired Naga dancers swayed to drum beats.

Dubbed as the 'Festival of festivals,' the week-long event aims at promoting tourism sector by bringing all strands of Naga life and culture under a single roof at Kisama heritage village, 12 km south of this capital town.

This year’s festival is coined as unity in culture to further strengthen harmony among diverse Naga tribes and a large number of foreign tourists.

Diplomats from many countries, particularly the ASEAN, participated in the festival, organized by state tourism and culture department as nodal agency. The opening of the festival also coincides with the Nagaland statehood day.

Declaring the festival open, Governor Nikhil Kumar insisted that the celebration of events like this would not only strengthen bond among Naga tribes but also tremendously contribute towards the government’s goal of prosperity.

The Governor also paid tributes to those who had the vision about the formation of Nagaland under constitution after a decade-long violence in the 1963. The state completed 48 years of its existence.

With easing of protected area permit (PAP) in some states in the North-east, the government expects more foreign tourists in next few days.

In his message Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio dwelt on his government's commitment for lasting peace in Nagaland and how the ruling DAN coalition tried its best to unite all Naga underground groups.

Nagaland Adventure and Motor Sports Association is organizing the Hornbill international car rally which begins at I G stadium tomorrow morning with over 80 participants from parts of India and UK, Japan, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Myanmar. The total prize money for the rally is Rs 15 lakh.