Veeyang Virang, Trainee Reporter, MassCoMedia
It’s not that simple to dream and redeem them at the same time. But when there is faith and the will, that we can do it, the mountain can crumble at your feet. Hornbill Festival is an upshot of such grit and determination that has elongated multifarious changes within the region and most importantly, in the way, the world viewed the land of the Naga’s - Nagaland.
Hornbill Festival termed as festival of the festival is one of the biggest and the most revered festival of the North Eastern state. Annually, celebrated on the hills of Kisama, a Naga heritage village some 22 Km away from Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland. It begins from December 01 and concludes on Dec 07. It’s the best time to comprehend about the Naga culture and cuisines.
Situated on the hillocks of Kisama, its chilling zephyrs don’t curtail the movement of the crowds as it’s also the only time for the trouble torn Nagaland to showcase their culture and cuisine to the world. Thanks to the diligent effort of Naga people who dared to dream differently and paved the wave of alternation. It is their vision that Hornbill Festival is no more a regional or a festival of single community; but it has been curved into an imperative medium of celebrating the diversity and ethnicity of Nagaland, the North Eastern states as well as neighboring Myanmar and Thailand all under the same roof. The collective endeavors of the local community has authentically composed a soothing music- a masterpiece- the Hornbill Festival that has touched hundreds of life and retraced back the forgotten smiles.
Since last many years, the splendor of it has been mesmerizing and weaving unforgettable memories. Memories that reconnected to their ancient lineages and reminded them to be blissful and fearless of who they are. The melody has also crafted an ambience for the younger generation to be comfortable with their cultural heritage, inspiring them to flaunt ethnicity.
During the initial years, no one ever speculated the journey of Hornbill festival to be so enriching and enduring. It was possible due to the hardworking local populace. Hornbill Festival that has become a significant part of Naga community, also tells that how unified efforts can change the scenario so rapidly. Few years back no one thought that HF could survive for such long, everyone thought it was flash in a pan due to ranging insurgency problem but the festival has been able to prove it wrong.
In today’s world, subsisting with ancient culture and traditions has never been easy nor will it ever be. Because, compulsion of changing phases and influences of contemporary civilization are too intense and immediate. But in such tempting backdrop, the remarkable achievement of Hornbill Festival divulges that if we adore our culture, we’ll earn respect from others and if we preserve it, no matter what, it’ll magnetize the globe to have a glimpse of it.
Beside blazon of culture and nature, blending Hornbill Festival with innovative ideas like eco-tourism and indirect source to uplift the regional economy has also contributed in the phenomenal success of it. Opening the barricade of this secluded province for the global explorer’s has witnessed the improvement of local economy that has brought back the smiling faces on the streets, speaking volumes in silence.
All these years since the inception of Hornbill Festival the world has altered for good. Fortunately, the essence of HF has not faded nor the tribal spirit has declined. In fact the changes it has elongated will never disappear or forgotten. For instance, as per the official statistics, HF’10 has recorded awesome figure of tourist influx – both international and domestic. Perhaps such enormous numbers of tourist has never explored any other festival of North Eastern state in past years. Indeed it’s an achievement – a remarkable achievement.