Nagaland. Land of Festivals. Welcome to the festival of festivals. Shouts the huge flex boards prominently on display at many curves and corners and squares in Kohima Town and all over NH 39.
Over the years, Hornbill Festival has become a happening event in India with the other states of the country following suit with their own versions of cultural and musical fests. The good news is that it is getting bigger and more recognizable. So kudos to the people who are making it happen and yet much needs to be done. It will take some time for the event to become more streamlined. It is indeed hard to put up such a grand scale event year after year but we have to learn to get more professional and smooth out the rough edges.
At Soundcheck. Photo by Manou.
We have been appearing at the Hornbill Festival in one form or the other since its inception in 2000 at Kohima local ground where we walked the ramp and sang with the 4th NAP band, now rechristened the DGP Band. Those were the days!
2012 Hornbill Festival got a makeover with an official opening ceremony and closing ceremony in style. Good effort!
For those who came in late, Hornbill Festival is a Seven Day Cultural Extravaganza held annually at Kisama Heritage Village, about 10 kms away from the Nagaland state Capital town, Kohima. The Festival includes a daily display of Folk music and dance, Western music, Indigenous Games, food festival, Night Carnival, Sale and exhibition of crafts and art. The other interesting events are the Pork Fat eating competition, King Chilli eating Competition, the National Hornbill Rock Fest, Fashion nights, Miss Nagaland Beauty pageant, Art and Writers/Book Exhibition and the Hornbill Motor rally. This year's edition also saw the Green ride-cycling rally for Environment awareness and protection and also the NorthEast Bike riders' Meet coinciding with the event.
All four sisters again. It is Hornbill after all.
We got to open the ceremonial proceedings with a pre-ceremonial performance which was missed by many of our fans owing to its incredibly early timing. An 8 am performance in December. Phew! Only the truly dedicated fans showed up. Thank you for the continuing love and support.
Well, so there we were, making the rounds on day one including providing luncheon entertainment for the Chief Guest of the day and the honorable state guests; followed by numerous stops for photographs with the lovely tourists and well-wishers. We ended the day by regaling the visitors of our tribe's hut with a few select Li in the rare company of our sister, Azi.
Photo by Shürhonyu Kire
Personal work and other public engagements ensured that we were missing from Kisama or tied up at other venues until Day 7 of Hornbill 2012. We enjoyed the spectacle of the closing ceremony where our dear brother played the National Anthem on the NBDA's Bamboo guitar. He had also recently won the Hornbill Fender electric guitar challenge :) Sweet!
Mhaseve Tetseo Winner of the Hornbill Fender Challenge! Photo: Internet
Jana Gana Mana....
Miss Nagaland 2012
In between was the Miss Nagaland beauty pageant which was won by the lissome ao lass, Imlibenla Jamir of Mokokchung and making the rounds to the Night Carnival, hunting out momos and barbequed meat with our guests and friends. Not to mention singing ourselves hoarse at the YouthNet Karaoke tower. What a blast we had.

So Hornbill came and went. Friends came and left. With plans to come again next year to a better organized Fest and bigger fun. Less traffic jams and hopefully a single venue Festival where people can camp and enjoy all that is on offer without having to get stuck in between town :)
One can always dream, right?

P.S: Thank you for sending in pictures of us. In case we don't get your credits right, do let us know at and we will make it right.

To travel to Kohima, take a flight to Dimapur, the nearest airport and take a sharing taxi or hire one from Dimapur. A two and half hour ride will get you to Kohima where you have options of staying in hotels/guesthouses or comfy homestays. It is always a good time to travel to Nagaland.
In case of any queries, you can write to us at and we will see what we can do to help. Hiyohey!
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