stepping into a different world

A Journey to the Heart of Nagaland

Arriving in Kima, the state capital of Nagaland, I felt an immediate connection with the place. The vibrant energy and the warm hospitality of the locals made me feel right at home. The streets were alive with colors, sounds, and the tantalizing aroma of traditional Naga dishes. As I made my way to the festival grounds, I felt a sense of excitement and anticipation building up inside me.

The Hornbill Festival is a grand celebration of Naga culture, held annually to showcase the heritage of the sixteen tribes of Nagaland. Entering the festival grounds was like stepping into a different world. The mesmerizing display of folk dances, traditional music, and the lively atmosphere was both welcoming and exhilarating.

Will Meyrick in Denpasar 2019
Walking through the festival, I couldn’t help but marvel at the intricate decorations and the beautifully crafted moangs. Each moang represented a different tribe, adorned with traditional artifacts and symbols. Seeing how each tribe preserved and celebrated its unique identity was fascinating.


Exploring the traditional kitchens set up within the moangs was one of the highlights of my visit. The Naga people take immense pride in their culinary heritage, and witnessing their cooking techniques up close was a privilege. The aroma of smoked pork, combined with a variety of fresh vegetables, filled the air and piqued my curiosity.

I was particularly fortunate to meet Zachi from the Angami tribe, who graciously invited me into his kitchen. Zachi shared with me the secrets of Angami cuisine, emphasizing the importance of locally sourced ingredients and simple, yet flavorful cooking methods. His passion for preserving his culinary traditions was truly inspiring.


Beyond the culinary delights, the Hornbill Festival offered a glimpse into the soul of the Naga people. Their folk music and dance performances were not just entertaining, but deeply rooted in their history and way of life. Each performance told a story, connecting the past with the present, and I felt honored to be a part of this cultural immersion.


Reflecting on my time at the Hornbill Festival fills me with a sense of gratitude and awe. The Naga people’s warmth, resilience, and dedication to preserving their heritage left a lasting impression on me. This journey was not just about discovering new flavors, but about understanding and appreciating a rich cultural legacy.

I captured many beautiful moments during my visit, which I will be sharing on Instagram. These snapshots offer a window into the vibrant life and traditions of the Naga people, and I hope they inspire you to explore and appreciate the diverse cultures of our world.

Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival is not just an event; it’s an experience that stays with you long after it’s over. As I continue my culinary adventures, I am more committed than ever to celebrating and sharing the diverse flavors and cultures that make our world so rich and fascinating.