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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Amazing Hornbill Festival of Nagaland

Still in Kohima, Nagaland, NE India. Still no mobile roaming and internet café closes early at 6pm – so unable to check emails daily. On 5 Dec, I will fly to Kolkata and then fly to Goa on 6 Dec.
 
The Hornbill Festival of Nagaland is an amazing event, somewhat like the Tsechu I attended in Bhutan last year.  Over the last few days, I have been watching Nagaland's 16 tribes performing tribal dances, mock headhunting performances, mock battles, traditional games and dramas, in their colourful costumes and headdresses, although they were half naked half the time.  Kohima is located on the highlands and the changes of temperature is quite drastic, from 10'C at night to 28'C at noon. I will be uploading photos of this festival onto http://twcnomad.blogspot.com after this email.  So do check them out.
 
People are also very friendly and polite, and don't usually try to cheat tourists, unlike the case in many parts of India.  The Nagas are Mongoloid like us, and everyone here thought I am one of them.  They tend to be medium to tall, have sharper features than Chinese, and a fairly large proportion of the people I see on the streets are lean-built.  Saw few fat people.  Maybe the DNA of a mountain tribal people.  Definitely, all the tribal warrior performers I saw at the Festival look hunky and fit, with tight muscular build. An attractive and masculine race.
 
I ate pork for the first time in one month. You can also find fresh dog meat and all sorts of insects deemed edible by the Nagas in the market!
 
The Nagas do not consider themselves Indian at all.  Most people I met felt that their independence was stolen from them by the British and then unfairly given to the Indians.  I saw a Naga reprimanding a British at my hotel for this historical event that occurred in 1947.  What is obvious to me that the Nagas are very Southeast/East Asian, in terms of food and culture.  They even love Korean movies.  I was told that they could relate more to the Koreans than the Indians.  So you find more Korean DVDs at the shops than Bollywood.
 
 

3 comments:

Rozelle said...

Guess you might have missed the internet zone at Kisama which has been open late. Although, to be honest it is a new addition so don't know how efficient it might have been. Hope you had an eye opening time in Nagaland, but that's just a little polished version of what the real Nagaland is. Come back to visit and go to the real villages. Every where you will find beauty in it's natural state not the manicured variety, nothing is sterile. There is a Konyak Naga chief in the district of Mon whose house has an interesting feature, the international date line between Burma and India runs right through his house!! Makes you wonder how the Brits decided to divide the land.

bhaskarchetia said...

Loved reading your article. Appreciate your time taken to learn about the history and culture of Assam and to write about it. I am sure it will benefit lot of people who is interested in travelling to North East of India. Assamese people are warm and would always welcome people like you.

Cheers.

Boon Raymond said...

Remember Korean and Vietnamese, and Hakka Chinese eat dog meat. So we can related to each others.

By the way, your blog and tour report is cool....