Kohima, Dec 3 : The 13th Hornbill Festival of Nagaland 2012 got underway on Saturday at the Naga Heritage Complex, Kisama, amid much fanfare.
Addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Nagaland governor Nikhil Kumar said the festival has become an important event not only in the state but in the entire country as is evident from the presence of people from different parts of the country.
Welcoming delegates from Myanmar, who have come to attend the festival, he pointed out the number of people witnessing the festival has been increasing over the years. The governor also extended his greetings to people for the Statehood Day, which coincided with the festival inauguration.
State chief minister Neiphiu Rio held aloft the festival, organized by the state government, as a popular annual tourism promotion event and a coming together of all components of the society. Over the years, the festival has gained in stature and popularity and has become a unique platform for tourists to witness the cultural diversity of the people of Nagaland, the chief minister said.
Rio enumerated a series of events to take place during the week-long festivities like a national rock contest, international motor rally, art festival, cultural show, fashion shows and the recently added Young Naga Achievers Award, etc. He lauded the organizers for the endeavour and emphasized upon the need for peace and tranquility in the state, urging one and all to maintain peace in the land.
The young achievers award was given out to Chekrovolu Swuro, the Naga Olympian at the London Olympics 2012; Nise Meruno, renowned soloist and musician who has performed with his group at international events and Atouzo, a young Naga entrepreneur based in the US who has worked with world famous celebrities. The award consisted of one million rupees, a citation and a memento.