The final day and the main event of Tokhü Emong, aka Mini Hornbill Festival, was held today, November 7, at Wokha Public Ground with Mhathung Yanthan, Advisor of State Horticulture and Border Affairs, as the special guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Yanthan highlighted the significance of celebrating the Tokhü Emong festival and expressed that everyone has to carry forward the practices of their ancestors who he termed were brave and truthful. He said that the Lothas need to transform their lives and go back to the old days of their ancestors and expressed a strong desire to prioritise and promote their native culture and tradition. He retrospects that the people of the present generation are just showing off and not following cultural practices. He encouraged the Lothas to be iconic leaders and show exemplary to the Naga community.

He also encouraged the gathering to give priority to one’s linguistic identity. He urged the younger generation to take it as a symbol of pride and also urged to give special attention to using one’s traditional attire.

He urged to practice traditional ways of tapping the land and nature. He referred to Wokha as the heart of Nagaland and said it has the accessibility to connect other districts and neighbouring states which provides ample opportunity to all trades and businesses. He said that “Lothas in today’s generation are in poverty amidst plenty.”

Emphasising on the Naga economy, Yanthan said that the Naga economy is based on agriculture, and urged people to take it professionally by adopting new technologies. He said that farming shall now be innovative and be of added value by categorisation and branding of their products that attract the market. He urged the youths to be innovative, strategise and become professional.

Mhathung Yanthan at the Tokhü Emong festival

On the prevailing pandemic situation, Yanthan said that due to COVID-19, many have lost their loved ones. He said that the pandemic is a challenge to the economy and the normal life of people.

He said that they are conducting a mini hornbill festival for all tribes, while the mega Hornbill Festival, which he termed the ‘festival of festivals’, is set to kick off this year after a one year gap due to the pandemic. He urged the crowd at the event to take more precautions and get vaccinated.

Citing Wokha District as a land of history where earlier the elders and leaders formed the first Tribal Council to come together with visions and goals which led to the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC) at Wokha district. He also told the gathering that “we shall not live in the past glory”.

He highlighted the prevailing border issues and expressed that the government is continuously working for the welfare of the people.

He also urged the Lothas to expedite and strategise the works so as to harness the natural wealth and asked all stakeholders to come forward with the state government to expedite and explore the oil and natural gas at Champang, Wokha.

Yanthan said that they may become a lost tribe if they continue lacking behind. He urged the Lothas to come together with forgiveness and reconcile to strengthen through the Tokhü Emong celebration.

The programme also witnessed Tokhü song from Nchumbemo Erui, a traditional dance from Rengma Cultural Troupe (Tesophenyu Village) and N. Longidang Village Cultural Troupe.

The programme was chaired by S. Mhonlumo Lotha, Vice Chairman, Lotha Hoho, invocation by Rev. Fr. John Ntonse Lotha and the welcome address was delivered by Renoponthung Ezung, Treasurer, Lotha Hoho.

Meanwhile, during the evening session, the declaration of a singing event at the Tokhü Emong was made by the special guest Orenthung Lotha NCS, Deputy Commissioner, Wokha.

Also read | Nagaland: Tokhü Emong Mini Hornbill Festival 2021 launched at Wokha

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