“Back to the woods”- retrieving identity & culture

“Back to the woods”- retrieving identity & culture
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/4/2018 5:04:04 AM IST

 Nzano Humtsoe

Festival vibes are the happiest vibes ever. Everyone who is there is genuinely stoked to be there, to have the weekend of his or her life and the happiness just flows from everyone’s pores, like a tangible buzzing energy. And when we talk about festivals in Nagaland, the land itself is known as “Land of festivals” where we get everything out in order to make for a perfect celebration of various festivals.

We Nagas have passion and love for art, culture and music, which we have upheld from generations. In an effort to promote, preserve and sustain our traditional culture and identity, generate livelihood opportunities for villagers by providing market and channeled network, an ultimate festival Thuwuni meaning “To progress” (in Sumi) is all set to be held from November 15 to 17, managed by Musik-A under the theme, “Back to the woods” at Pughoboto a sub division of Zunheboto located 29 KM towards west from District head quarters Zunheboto and 54kms away from the state capital Kohima. 

The latitude 25.920279 and longitude 94.2796879 are the geo-coordinate of the Pughoboto. The nearest railway & airport is located at Dimapur, which is  around 136kms away from the venue. 

Connectivity & accessibility: It will take roughly 4-5 hours (via Peducha -10 mile) from Dimapur & about 2 hours from Kohima by road. Daily Taxi & NST bus services from Kohima, Dimapur, Zunheboto. 

What once was an open field becomes a miniature city, as thousands of happy festival-goers fill in their slots with tents, bonfire, sound systems, tables, dance floors, outdoor games and good vibes.

The festival looks forward to provide a combined integrated platform for local art, culture, farmer’s market, tourism and exposure to new ideas and opportunities for the local villagers. Within three years of introducing the festival, there has been positive enlightenment and upliftment of the people from the area towards improvement in productivity, social progress and economic growth. The need to scale the festival has now arrived. 

Thuwu-Ni also envisages showcasing of our traditional culture, promotion of indigenous games and sports, adventure sports, farmer’s market and Music Festival. And not forgetting food which is also one of our identity, the cultural diversity of tribes and the dishes are fascinating, the festival will also be presenting the “Taste of Aphuyemi” during the three days event highlighting cooking competition where villages will be sending their best cooks to compete for the title-Bring out the best on a plate to showcase. 

The festival is going to be all about Entertainment: Thuwuni Indigenous Games & Sports Olympic (TIGSO), Thuwuni Music Festival (TMF) and Thuwuni Rural Adventure (Celebrating Indigenous Lifestyle), Taste of Aphuyemi (Local cuisines & organic local brews) by Chef Joel Basumatari, provide market and network for rural agro produce, handloom & handicraft, provide an unforgettable rural tourism experience for the tourist, generate livelihood opportunity for the villagers and promote, preserve and sustain traditional culture.

Apart from all the fun, there is one challenge facing festival-goer every single year…keeping clean! Keeping that in mind, the organizers have plans to carry out the event as “Plastic free festival”, where no plastic materials will be used and instead bamboo mugs will be available for sale, one can carry their own water bottle and in order to carry out clean environment, recycling race has also been organized for participants to be part of the cleanliness drive at the same time. 

Above all, the entertainments enlisted one after the other can’t miss out music for “Music is the universal language of mankind”, says Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Artiste line-up for Thuwuni Music Festival (TMF) 2018 includes Lords of Rock (LOR), Paper Sky, Sourabee Debbarma (Former Indian Idol) Avora Records, Polar Lights, Julia Bliss (Russia), ROY (Mumbai), DJ Sumika and more. 

The festival in the year 2016, generated a revenue of Rs. 7, 83,000 in three days for the local farmers through the sale of agricultural produce, this year the festival aims to carry out a detailed economic impact assessment, by making the event a cashless event where guest need to buy coupons from the box office before entering the venue, one will be able to pay for all the festival services, stalls etc., with these coupons. All purchase made at the festival venue will be made via the coupon system only and anyone can buy unlimited number of coupons. 

The three- days event will be inaugurated by Governor of Nagaland P.B. Acharya, marking the opening of the event with Swachh Bharat Marathon race where everyone can take part. 

The event partners of the festival will be Television: Nat Geo, Radio: FM Tragopan, Beverages: Red Bull, Digital Partner: Hungama Artiste Aloud, Magazine: Northeast Windows, Digital News: EastMojo, India Trail, Saucy Joe, Hospitality Partner: De Oriental Grand, multimedia will be Nagaland Post, Musik-A and Pioneer Institute

Thuwu-Ni festival, with the theme “celebrating indigenous lifestyle” was introduced in 2014 at Pughoboto, Nagaland, the place inhabited by the pioneers of the Sumi tribe of Nagaland. Over the years, the festival has attracted a footfall of over 30,000 visitors and tourists. And within the three years of introducing the festival, there has been positive enlightenment and upliftment of the people from the area towards improvement in productivity, social progress and economic growth. 

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