Travel brings surprises with a new trip. Travel teaches me how to earn people. I always get excited before travelling to a new place and rarely fall asleep the night before. Before my trip to Nagaland, I got to hear a lot about the place from known and unknown people. Those were so full of predictions and hallucination that a normal person would drop the idea of visiting Nagaland. But when I finally reached Nagaland, I was overwhelmed to see Naga people’s hospitality.
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The Unknown trip
During a trip, we get to mingle with locals which is vital too. And once we get to mix with them, their culture, their life becomes much easier for us to understand. During my Nagaland trip, I get in touch with some Nagas. We gel very easily, which smoothen my way to understand their culture. I have a lot of stories in this regard, all in all, this blog will not end in one page, it may become a little book. The story I will share here has changed my whole thought about Nagaland and its people.
The Naga Hospitality
Hornbill Festival is one of the biggest tribe festivals in Nagaland. More than two lakh people from all over the world come here every year to attend this festival. The main purpose of this festival is to showcase the culture of the sixteen tribes of Nagaland to the whole world through the carnival. And I meet here some local people who are my age. I get a lot of information about Naga culture, Naga food and their daily life from them. They tell me about some authentic naga food and for my first-time experience, they order some of the items too. And no one allows me to pay the bill. The reason for them is simple and straight, they can’t allow their guest to pay for anything.
Life is beautiful not because of the things we see or do. Life is beautiful because of the people we meet. The people of Nagaland have made me feel like family. After our lunch at the Hornbill Festival, they drive me to different places around Kisama village. It turns out to be a special evening for me in Nagaland. I remember the moment when they take me to a hill to have coffee. We sit for a long time there and sing Hindi movie songs with hot coffee. At that moment it feels like I am at home with my people. They all start forcing me to spend my rest days in Nagaland with them in their house and I can no longer stay at my guest house.
They are waiting for me
Next morning a car comes to pick me from my guest house. They talk to the guest house owner and pick me from there. For the next few days, I belong to a Kohima house. I don’t know the name of that place.
From morning to afternoon, we roam around various places in Nagaland. I taste a lot of authentic Naga food, which are not usually found in any restaurant, only made at Naga home. They never miss keeping my only request of one cup tea in the morning. They request their Bengali neighbours for that tea. I don’t know how to say thank you to them. Every night we go to parties at hidden places in Nagaland. One night I pay our food bills secretly. But as they find out, they request me not to insult their culture. I feel ashamed. At that moment I don’t know what to say to them.
On the day of my return, they insist on driving me from Kohima to Dimapur. Kohima to Dimapur it’s around 4hr journey. I can’t let that happen. And somehow I manage to convince them. I already have my bus ticket from Kohima. I still remember when they come to see me off at the bus stand, we all group hugged. They say that next year too they will wait for me.
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