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Hornbill fest boosting Naga unity: Zeliang

By Bhadra Gogoi

DIMAPUR, Dec 6 - Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang today said the Hornbill Festival showcasing the different cultures and traditions of 16 tribes of the State shows the unity among the Nagas and spreading the message of Naga identity to the world. He was attending the Hornbill Festival at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.

�Unity is the only key to come to a permanent solution and peace in the State,� he maintained. Zeliang congratulated the cultural troupes for showing uniqueness of Naga culture and unity in the festival.

The Chief Minister also released balloons to mark the celebration of the Hornbill Festival and also the catalogue of exportable bamboo products of Nagaland by Industries & Commerce department.

Consulate General of France in Kolkata Damien Syed was the guest on the day. Syed appreciated the unique culture and traditions of Nagaland and congratulated the performers. He also thanked the Government of Nagaland for inviting him to the festival. He mentioned that France is teaming up with Nagaland in sectors like urban development, hydro energy and agriculture, specifically in teak farming to build an economic bridge.

Meanwhile, the 4th Hornbill Annual Cycle Rally �Go Green� was flagged off at Kisama Heritage Village by Assistant Director of Tourism Veyielo Doulo.

Around 50 cyclists took part in the rally which started from Kuochiezhie, Kohima covering a distance of around 13 kms. The rally is held to create awareness and promote the benefits of cycling.

In another event, 3E Nagaland in collaboration with the Tourism department organised the 5th Hornbill Half Marathon at New Civil Secretariat, Kohima today. In Men category, Pache Khiamniungan from Nagaland emerged champion while in the Women category, Syamali Singh of West Bengal emerged the winner. In the Great Hornbill Run (Boys) category, Gopal Kumar Ram of West Bengal bagged the first position.

The event also witnessed a Special Lap for persons with special needs under the theme �Championing Disabilities�. 36 differently-abled children took part in the special lap.

The Day Six of the Hornbill Festival was marked by a very fascinating competition called Greased Bamboo Pole climbing where Rhonthungo Lotha, representing Lotha tribe, emerged the winner. Altogether 17 bamboo poles were erected for all the tribes where every tribe participated.

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