Nagaland Govt gears up for Hornbill Festival 2021

Advisor, Tourism, Art & Culture, H Khehovi Yeputhomi and other officials during the coordination meeting for the Hornbill Festival at Kohima on October 1.(Morung Photo)

Advisor, Tourism, Art & Culture, H Khehovi Yeputhomi and other officials during the coordination meeting for the Hornbill Festival at Kohima on October 1.(Morung Photo)

Morung Express News
Kohima | October 1

After a gap of one year Nagaland is all set to celebrate the 22nd edition of the Hornbill Festival at The Heritage Village, Kisama. The event was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This was officially announced by Advisor, Tourism, Art & Culture, H Khehovi Yeputhomi during a coordination meeting for the Hornbill Festival with tribal hohos on October 1 at the Directorate of Tourism, Kohima.

Stating that the track record of the festival has been very successful since it started in 2000, he said the Hornbill Festival has garnered global recognition with a recorded tourist footfall of over 3 lakh from all over the world.

Veyielo Doulo, Joint Director said the festival is not only about promoting tourism and the rich culture of the Nagas, but also creates employment opportunities to the youth. He informed that in 2018 the revenue generated was Rs 45 crore with 500 job opportunities, while in 2019, Rs 101 crore (including the rock festival in Dimapur) was generated and 800 job opportunities were created.

Nagaland to host ITM
It was also announced that Nagaland would host the International Travel Mart (ITM) for the first time from November 28-30 at The Heritage Village, Kisama. Organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, ITM is a tourism event to showcase the North East region, especially to promote tourism here.

Announcing this, Yeputhomi said that the event will coincide with the Hornbill Festival, and 500 delegates with 300 tourist guides from abroad and 200 from mainland India are expected.

Morungs in deplorable condition
The Advisor meanwhile noted with disappointment the deplorable conditions of the tribal morungs at Kisama during an inspection. He said that among the 17 morungs, almost all are on the verge of collapse, expect for three morungs.

While pointing out that the morung is an identity, and tells the story of each tribe, he appealed to the tribal hohos to take the responsibility of maintenance of their respective tribe morungs, not only during the month of the festival, but all through the year.

Though the financial condition of the state is not in a good shape, Yeputhomi said the department will enhance the maintenance amount as against the previous Rs. 85,000 for each tribe. He urged the hohos to immediately start the renovations and repairing of their respective morungs, and complete the works latest by November 15.

“Hornbill Festival is not only for the Department of Tourism and Art & Culture. It is a festival for all” said Yeputhomi and maintained all the people should take ownership and be a part of it.

Equal hospitality to all
Also observing the dismal catering services in the morungs, particularly with the cultural troupes, the Advisor maintained that equal services should be rendered both to the tourists and the performing troupes and visitors from other districts.
He asked the hohos to intimate this to the hosts of their respective morungs to take proper care of their visitors and cultural troupes from their districts.

Compulsory vaccine
Although the government has opened almost everything in the unlock-7, Yeputhomi said the festival will be in full consonance with COVID appropriate behaviours. He also urged the tribal leaders to inform their respective people in the village to take the vaccine for participation in the festival.

With so many misconceptions surrounding the vaccine, he said “COVID vaccine has nothing to do with politics or religions. It is only for safety defense against the virus.”

Strengthen unity, eradicate ‘ism’
Stating that there is too much ‘ism’ simmering, Yeputhomi appealed the leaders to make an effort towards strengthening relationships. “Though we speak different dialects, we, Nagas came from the same ancestors and we are one” emphasised the Advisor, adding that there is an urgent need to build healthy relations between the tribes.

Meanwhile, T Yanpvuthung Kikon, Joint Secretary delved on sustainable tourism, which he said is becoming the most productive industry in the world.

Nagas, he said have been blessed with a beautiful landscape, favourable climatic conditions and ideal geographical locations. He said that the Naga people have to take the plunge by mapping out strategic plans and policies to strengthen the tourism industry in the State.