Wokha: Tokhü Emong, the festival of harvest, was celebrated with much fervor among the Lotha Nagas during the five-day mini-Hornbill festival which culminated on Tuesday at Wokha, Nagaland.
The closing celebration of the premier festival of the Lotha tribe was graced by G Kaito Aye, minister for PWD, R&B, as the special guest.
Speaking at the event, Aye greeted the tribal community for celebrating the festival of Tokhü Emong signifying the bountiful harvest season.
People from outside come to see how and who we are, and by exposing our ancestral culture, we are showcasing the very essence of our identity, the minister said. Towards the end of all mini-hornbill festivals, he said that the mega Hornbill festival is held to celebrate the collective identity of the Nagas.
Calling for unity and collective strength, he urged the gathering to set aside past differences and unite for the betterment of the Naga community. He proposed that the Tokhü Emong celebration could also serve as a Farmers’ Day, emphasising the importance of agriculture and encouraging farmers to dedicate themselves to improving their production skills and techniques through location-specific approaches. He warned that poverty could devastate the community if farming and cultivation were neglected, and he urged everyone to embrace sustainable farming practices.
Nagas, bound by shared interests and a common heritage, must inherit the common legacy and live together harmoniously for the sake of future generations, he asserted. He added that unity through brotherhood can be the unifying force for the Naga people and urged the community to prepare for the future of the younger generation.
He advocated for preserving the authenticity of Naga cultural practices, emphasizing the importance of minimizing artificial elements. He expressed his desire for a revival of work culture in Naga society and commended the community’s commitment to traditional practices and organic farming.
He said that Naga people must recognize their inherent self-reliance and avoid dependence. Aye said that regardless of the outcome of the Naga political solution, the Naga people will continue to live and therefore, unity is paramount. He emphasised that the Nagas must be prepared to unite and celebrate together, calling upon the church, students, and youth to step forward, revitalize systems, and pass the baton to the younger generations.
Highlighting about various activities taken up by the state government, the minister assured that the Nagaland foothill road will become a reality soon which will ease the problems of the people living in the area.
While he also urged the community to support and give cooperation to the state government in executing work, he urged the people to be patient in witnessing various development activities in the state. He said that every project needs to be presentable, and projects must be completed in a timely manner to serve the public.
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He also acknowledged the representation submitted by the Lotha Hoho on proposed Wokha-Bokajan road construction, saying that Nagaland governor has been taking keen interest to the representation submitted by Lotha Hoho during his visit in the district.
Through the celebration of Tokhü Emong, he hoped that the community will uphold unity. The minister was accompanied by Dr Chumben Murry, advisor to the Chief Minister of Nagaland. Earlier, Er. Mhondamo Ovung chairman Lotha Hoho delivered a welcome speech, while Wopemo Tsopoe delivered Tokü Emong celebration history and its significance.
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