DIMAPUR, Dec 1 - The 16th edition of Hornbill Festival got off to a colourful start at Naga Heritage village, Kisama near Kohima today with the inauguration of a number of events for the ten-day extravaganza where 16 Naga tribes and sub-tribes will showcase their culture, dance, music, food, handloom and handicrafts.
The inaugural celebration coincided with the Statehood Day of Nagaland. Nagaland and Assam Governor PB Acharya graced the inaugural function as the chief guest and unveiled the Hornbill Tree which was erected on the occasion while Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang was the chief host.
Speaking on the occasion, Acharya said the Statehood Day is a joyous occasion when all people of Nagaland can recall with pride and satisfaction the significant achievements made by the Nagas during the past years. He said Nagaland has achieved remarkable progress over the last five decades, particularly in education and healthcare.
He mentioned that Hornbill Festival aims to preserve, promote and protect the unique cultural diversity and rich traditions of Nagaland and expressed hope that all the visitors would experience the warm hospitality which is a tradition of the Nagas.
Reiterating that peace is needed for progress and development, Acharya said, �Violence has no place in our society. Tourists must realise that Nagaland is peaceful and vibrant.�
On the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM on August 3, Acharya said the accord can serve as a new paradigm for security and federalism, reconciling the aspirations of the Nagas with the larger vision of strong India. He appealed to all factions to join the peace process for a graceful and permanent solution of the Naga problem.
Chief Minister TR Zeliang in his welcome address said over the past 12 years the people of Nagaland made progress in various fields.