In early 2014, we received a call from Kohima to come and audition to be a part of a lineup of artists and dancers who were to represent the country at an International Festival. We duly signed up, sent in our application and details along with our passports and soon enough, was called to the orientation.
Formalities having completed, we headed out to Jotsoma where the Music Task Force of Nagaland has its head quarters. After two gruelling months of training physically and vocally everyday, we set out with the rest of the group (More than 150 people applied and some 60+ started training but eventually was whittled down to 45 by the end of the training process) to proceed to Kolkata for the UK visa application process.

The mission was to perform at: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Scotland. Inarguably the greatest show on earth - a 24 day festival with a series of Military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and cultural display teams on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The event takes place annually throughout August, as part of the wider Edinburgh Festival and is watched by over 10 million people annually.

The 45 strong Naga Folkloric Group comprising of musicians, singers, performing artistes, students and working professionals from all walks of life with a bent to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience came together to put on a 5 minute show displaying the essence of Naga Culture to a 10,000 strong crowd every night for 24 days in a row. In total, we performed 27 Tattoo shows and 3 other shows in 3 different cities at mini Tattoos besides performing on the Royal Yatch, Brittania.
Along with a 1000+ cast from the commonwealth countries of UK, New Zealand, Malta, Shetland, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago, we ushered in the happiest party of the decade every evening, come rain or shine and it did rain a couple of times. Not to mention the icy gales.

There were some crazy moments, painful moments and highs and lows, but the Tattoo experience will be an unforgettable milestone in our journey as performing artistes. We learnt much and unlearned a lot too. Made many friends and came back better human beings with memories to last a lifetime.

On rehearsal day at the Royal Barracks, Edinburgh.


Halley Bengia says:
at: 19 January 2016 at 16:21 said...

Congrats. It's always a pleasure seeing northeastern represent the country on international grounds. But I have a complain..why leave without me.. xD

Ronex Oinam says:
at: 29 April 2016 at 21:34 said...

24 straight days! Pheww I cant even imagine how it must have felt. Not only the performance but the also the preparation to the show you do everyday. Hats off.