The 24th edition of the Hornbill Festival 2023 concluded with a grand closing ceremony held at Naga Heritage Village at Kisama near Kohima today.
Honoured guest, United States Consul General, Melinda Pavek, expressed her happiness to be part of the Hornbill Festival which also marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world’s most groundbreaking global pledges-the universal declaration of human rights which enshrined the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being.
Pavek then said that this document remains an aspiration in many ways, “and our efforts to live up to its full potential are inherent in our values, as people, as communities, as tribes, as nations as festivals like this one, with the 17 major Naga tribes represented together, in partnership, are a way of preserving the unique cultures that make this state special, which is important to ensuring each person’s inalienable human rights”.
She then showed her gratitude for having two representatives from three great Native American communities.
Melinda Pavek also mentioned that on December 6, 2023 as part of the White House Tribal Nations Summit, President Biden signed an historic Executive Order to ensure that ‘tribal nations’ have greater autonomy over how they invest federal funding and that the US executive order affirms that tribal self-governance is about the fundamental right of a people to determine their own destiny and to prosper and flourish on their own.
She mentioned that this festival may be one of the first in India and the Northeast that included representatives from “US Tribal Nations”, and she believes that it won’t be the last. Pavek also said the bonds of “our people, in pursuit of peace and prosperity, for the betterment of our planet grow stronger each and every day as we build these connections”.
Another honoured guest, British Deputy High Commissioner, Dr. Andrew Fleming speaking at the closing ceremony said that it was wonderful to be here at the Hornbill Festival. He said that the UK is very keen to engage more deeply with Nagaland not just culturally but in different sectors including horticulture, healthcare, skills training and education. He acknowledged the huge potential that Nagaland has in tourism. He concluded by congratulating the government of Nagaland for successfully organizing the 24th edition of the Hornbill Festival at such a grand scale.
United States Consul General, Melinda Pavek, British Deputy High Commissioner, Dr. Andrew Fleming, Minister for Tourism and Higher Education, Temjen Imna Along, Miss Nagaland 2023, Neiketuno Sechü along with the first and second runners-up lighted the bonfire to mark the closing ceremony of the Hornbill Festival 2023 which was followed by ‘unity dance’.