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The Hornbill Festival ‘Festival of Festivals’ of Nagaland began today the 1st December 2010 at the Naga Heritage, Kisama with Nagaland Governor, Nikhil Kumar gracing the occasion as the Chief Host and State Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio as the Host.
            Speaking on the occasion as the Chief Host, Nikhil Kumar extended his greetings to the people of the State and thanked the founding fathers for their vision and concern for the well being of the people of the State. He said that it is a significant day for the people of Nagaland as it was on this day that 47 years ago Nagaland State has became full fledged State and came into existence as the 16th State of the Indian Union. Nikhil Kumar said that the week-long Hornbill Festival is a celebration of the vibrant culture, fitting with the Statehood Day to mark the commencement of the festival. He said that the festival has acquired stature and fame and has become one of the most talked about cultural event in the country, to which he said that it is because of the enthusiastic participation of the people of Nagaland. The Governor also extended his sincere appreciation and thanks to the Government of Nagaland particularly State Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio for conceiving the festival and organizing it with élan every year.
            Stating that the State may be considered as a small State but in terms of cultural diversity and richness, Nagaland State is second to none, he said. The Governor also said that Nagaland State is a treasure trove of culture as the State is inhabited by many tribes and communities and each has its own unique and vivid culture. He said that the Hornbill Festival is a commendable attempt to capture the cultural vibrancy and diversity and showcase it in all its splendour and to the whole country
            Nikhil Kumar also said that the number of people visiting the State has increased over the years as Hornbill Festival has been creating awareness about our people and the State in this successive Hornbill Festivals and further thanked the government and the people for their efforts. He further added that he would like to see more initiatives taken for making Nagaland as one of the important tourist destinations of the country. “We need better and improved connectivity, in particularly road connectivity, throughout the State, developing more places for stay and recreation, and creation of the right kind of skills required for the tourism and hospitality industry” Nikhil Kumar said.
The Governor hoped that the participants and the guest from aboard present would not only add colours to the festival but would also provide opportunity of knowing one another and build better relationships among themselve and wished all the gathering to enjoy the Hornbill Festival 2010 to the full and declared the Festival opened.
Earlier the Chief Host and the Host were accorded warm traditional welcome by the cultural troupes lining up from the main gate to VVIP Rostrum.
The inaugural programme was chaired by the Parliamentary Secreatery for Tourism, Law and Justice,Yitachu and Angh of Hongphoi Village, Mon, Buwang Konyak gave a traditional blessing for the festival. Other highlights of the programme included cultural dances by various cultural troupes and paragliding organized by Youth and Sports.


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