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Hornbill Festival Under Way

The inaugural function of the state's biggest crowd-puller welcomed hundreds of tourists including foreigners.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2005 23:02 IST

The Hornbill Festival, the "Festival of all Festivals" as has been dubbed by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, got off to a grand start with the formal inauguration of the seven-day cultural extravaganza by the Chief Minister and invocation of the blessings of the Almighty by the chief of Shangnyu Village of Mon district, Meiwang Jongwang Konyak, at the picturesque Kisama Naga Heritage Village Kisama on Thursday.

The inaugural function of the state's biggest crowd-puller and perhaps its most well presented tourism package welcomed hundreds of tourists including foreigners who turned up at the festival, to be welcomed with traditional songs and dances. Apart from a range of Naga delicacies, on offer was the finest Naga rice beer.

The presentation of all tribal festivals under one roof at Kisama had come a long way with the Government of India now upgrading the festival to an event, Rio said. "With the ongoing peace process and political dialogue, there exists an atmosphere of peace that makes it possible for us to celebrate such occasions and undertake developmental activities," the chief minister said while appealing to all citizens, including militants, to join hands to resolve the protracted Naga issue and strive for peace through reconciliation.

Rio also said that the Government was seriously considering a policy to take tourism to the community where people could become stakeholders of government property.

First Published: Dec 01, 2005 23:02 IST