Reviving the ancestral good practices a necessity: CM Rio

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy CMs, TR Zeliang and Yanthungo Patton taking part in the unity dance during the Sekrenyi festival of the Angami Naga at the state Stadium in Dimapur on February 24. (Photo by Caisii Mao)

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy CMs, TR Zeliang and Yanthungo Patton taking part in the unity dance during the Sekrenyi festival of the Angami Naga at the state Stadium in Dimapur on February 24. (Photo by Caisii Mao)

‘Cultural preservation must also include environmental preservation’ 

Morung Express News 
Dimapur | February 24

Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio called for reviving ancestral cultural values and passing on the good practices at the Sekrenyi festival celebration organised by the Angami Public Organisation (APO) in Dimapur on February 24. 

The main festival of the Angami Naga, Sekrenyi is regarded as a festival of sanctification and purification and was celebrated for ten days back in the bygone days. With the advent of Christianity, the duration of the festival was reduced, with modern day celebrations lasting for 1-3 days. 

Speaking to a festival crowd, estimated to be around 15,000, at the unfinished Multidisciplinary Sports Complex (formerly State Stadium), the CM said that festivals like Sekrenyi play a crucial role in revisiting and preserving traditions and customs, offering younger generations valuable insights into their heritage. On that note, he underscored the need to reflect on the past, ponder upon the present and inculcate the good practices that can be passed on. 

He added that reviving the good practices of old must also be inclusive of environmental preservation and prudent resource management.  “A time has come when we have given up most good practices but our ancestors, who relied on nature's provision, were well aware of the need to protect the environment,” he said, while adding that the ancestors exhibited profound wisdom in maintaining a balance between work and festivity.

He said that festivals help in fostering closer community bonds and Sekrenyi, in essence, serves the purpose as a unifying force, fostering familial ties and inspiring aspirations for the future. According to him, the Angami values and the APO’s ‘Right is Might’ motto aligns with ethical conduct, implying principles of righteousness and hard work, further reflecting the cultural ethos and moral framework that should guide the Angami community.

He further posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Our exclusive customs, found nowhere else in the world, is our biggest strength. But let us also appreciate the customs of other societies both within and outside the State. We must respect each other's beliefs and practices for peaceful coexistence.”

Other special guests, included the two Deputy Chief Ministers, Y Patton and TR Zeliang, PHED Minister, N Jacob Zhimomi and Advisors Tovihoto Ayemi, Moatoshi Longkumer, besides a host of invitees from the various tribal organisations. 

Deputy CM, Y Patton held that though Nagaland today may have grouped into blocs, there is no differentiation in the Naga society. Terming cultural diversity as the strength of the Nagas, he said, “No matter where we are geographically located, let us learn to live in harmony with each other and support one another towards taking our society to greater heights.” 

Deputy CM, TR Zeliang termed the decision of the organisers to celebrate Sekrenyi in Dimapur, outside the Angami home district, as wise and commendable. According to him, if the other Naga communities could adopt this concept, it has potential to transform Dimapur into a tourist destination. 

As one community for resolving Naga political issue

Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 24

In line with the Sekrenyi spirit of sanctification and renewal, the Nagas must renew as one community to resolve the long pending Naga political issue, said Deputy Chief Minister, TR Zeliang. In his address, as one of the special guests, at the Sekrenyi festival celebration in Dimapur on February 24, the Deputy CM said, “The present generation is faced with numerous obstacles in several fronts due to the unresolved Naga Political Issue and we should not leave it unsettled for our posterity.”

According to him, the ruling PDA government stands for the negotiating parties — the NSCN (IM) and the 7 NNPGs on one hand — and the Government of India on the other, arriving at an amicable settlement, “one that is inclusive, honourable and acceptable as aspired by the Naga people at large.”

He hoped the Sekrenyi-cum-Mini Hornbill Festival 2024 will usher in unity not only within the Angami community but also in the broader Naga family in order to bring the Indo-Naga issue to its logical conclusion.