Kohima: As the 23rd edition of the Hornbill festival entered the second day, the ‘festival of festivals’ witnessed the World War II peace rally, cultural shows, and so much more at the Naga Heritage Village Kisama, about 12 KM from Kohima.
The WW-II peace rally, flagged off from Indra Gandhi Stadium Kohima, culminated outside the WW-II museum. A total of 11 squads participated in the rally, including one squad from Thailand.
Advisor IT&C, NRE, Science & Technology, Mmhonlumo Kikon, who addressed the gathering as the special guest at the event, highlighted the participation and the sacrifices made by the Nagas during the Second World War.
The Naga contribution, he said, was instrumental in tilting the outcome of the Battle of Kohima in favour of the Allied forces. He also paid tribute to all Naga warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War as well as during the decade-long conflict with the colonial forces.
Awards were also given out by the special guest for the following categories: best tourism promotion squad, most disciplined squad, best-uniformed squad, best weaponry squad, best-maintained jeep, and the most original squad.
At the main arena, the cultural events kicked off in the morning with the Director of External Affairs South Asia Office (SAO) as the Special Guest, Ravi Bhatnagar wished the people of Nagaland a happy festival during the “Festival of Festivals” celebration.
Representing Reckitt, the festival partner, he appealed to the state government to provide continuous support to implement programmes and help in educating young adolescents between 10-19 years of age to help them grow up with life skill education. Bhatnagar also hoped that the Hornbill festival would create a healthier, happier, and more progressive India.
Cultural performances were displayed by the Angami Cultural Troupe (Jakhama Village)- Melo Pita (folk dance); Ao Cultural Troupe- Benjongbentsü Yar (Festive Dance); Chakhesang Cultural Troupe- Roce (folk dance); Zeliang Kohima Base- Nagaland Deu Lim; Sumi Cultural Troupe (Surumi Cultural Society, Kohima)- Sumi war dance; Pochury Cultural Troupe- War dance (Folk Dance); Lotha (Kohima Base)- Naga Liphongtsu Shancho Khen (song & dance) and Rengma (Kohima Base)- Kaghaka men Keya (traditional marriage song).
Later, General Officer Commanding 101 Arena, Lt General KC Panchanathan graced the evening cultural session. The evening cultural session witnessed a war dance by the Lotha Cultural Troupe, a folk song by the Rengma, a folk dance by the Kuki, a wangala dance by Garo, and a hornbill dance by the Zeliang tribe. The Kachari Cultural Troupe and Chakhesang troupe also presented folk songs and dances.
Meanwhile, Naga Chef Season 9 also kicked off on Friday at Kisama. This year, seven participants are vying for the coveted title. The competition rounds include cooking skills, childhood memories, innovation rounds, just desserts, and my Naga Thali which will be followed by Grand Finale.
The winner of the competition will walk away with a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh along with gift hampers. A cooking master class will also be conducted for all participants.
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Judges for the season are Chef Joel Basumatari, Rovi Chase, and Alemjungla Jamir. The competition will have Chef Gary Mehigan, Author and Restaurateur, one of the original judges of MasterChef Australia as the guest judge.
The grand finale of the competition will be held on December 9. The competition is managed by Synergy Group Enterprise and sponsored by the Department of Tourism.
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