Reflection on the Hornbill Festival 2018

Aiborlang Nongsiej

Mawlai, Shillong

Nagaland is known as a land of festivals with lots of celebrations throughout the year. In fact, almost every month in a year different tribes are having their festivals, such as Muatsu for the Aos in May, Tokhu Emong for the Lothas in November, Aoleang for the Konyaks in April, Sekrenyi for the Angami in February, Sukrunye for the Chakhesang in January, Naknyulem for the Chang in July, Tuluni for the Sumi in July, Hega for the Zeliang in February, Yemshe for the Pochury in October and many other festivals of the different tribes residing within the state. Nagaland is blest with these festivals of the different tribes that draw many tourists to the state every year. The Hornbill Festival which is celebrated every year from the 1- 10 December at Kisama Naga Heritage village is globally recognize in which tourists from all over the world long to see this celebration of the Naga tribes. On the other hand, the Hornbill festival is also a golden opportunity to preserve the traditions and customs of each tribe at the same time to unite all the Naga tribes at least once a year. Personally, I feel that the state government has chosen the right time and right date for the celebration. The inauguration of the festival is always on the 1st of December, which is also the statehood day of Nagaland. To mention with, Nagaland received its full fledged statehood on the 1 December 1963 and Kohima was declared as its capital.

Hence, with such possibilities to the state of Nagaland, yet sad to say that quite a number of tourists, who visited the hornbill festival this year, are not happy with the condition of the state. The National Highway from Dimapur to Imphal via Kohima which is under construction for more than two years, yet no sign of improvement on the road, therefore whom to blame the State or the center? As a domestic tourist to Hornbill festival I was quite upset with the Nagaland police employed in various excise check gates. The road condition and the amount tax in various excise check gates is absolutely unacceptable. I appreciate the state of being a dry state yet too many excise check gates for money sake is not appreciated. I just want to ask the state government where is the money tax from all the vehicles except the vehicles register from Nagaland (NL), if the road condition is like that. Where is the money goes if without any slip or proper paper issuing to those whom they tax, I would strongly say that this is purely corruption and the common people are the one who suffer because the drivers will charge the fare accordingly to what they are tax on the way.

Naga people are known for welcoming and they are good people, however the state government did not make use all these possibilities. In my conversation with some of the tourists from outside India, they say that they enjoy the festival and the warm welcome of the Nagas, however they are not so happy with the road condition and the way the organizers arrange the programme also the flexibility of the timing which caused the tourists great lost of time and money particularly the international tourists. Being a traveler to different places in Northeast India I have not found as bad as the road in Kohima to any other state capitals in Northeast India. Hence I urge the concern authority to look into the matter seriously in order to attract more tourists to the state. As I have mentioned Nagaland is blest with many good things that can draw more tourists to it and the people of the state can be benefitted a lot in various fields with the coming of the tourists. In fact many countries in the world are rich in their economy because of tourism. Finally I wrote this article not to displace anyone but to wake up the Nagaland government in order to realize the richness of the state and to fulfill their dream of “Change is coming” as they have promise during the election campaign. Therefore, to have a good road is the dream of all the citizens of Nagaland and the flow of tourists will be more than the past years to the Hornbill Festival if the road condition is good.