Ao Nagas celebrate Moatsu festival

Kohima: Ao Nagas celebrated their Moatsu festival for past three days in different parts of Nagaland with gaiety and pomp.

The festival, observed to seek divine blessings for good harvest and well being of villagers, was organized in Ao inhabited areas of Dimapur and villages in Mokokchung, the main attraction was the celebration at Ungma, the biggest Ao village near Mokokchung town.

However, the celebration at Ungma, native village of former chief minister S C Jamir, on Thursday turned into a symbolic representation of strengthening unity between the Aos and the Angamis.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio urged the Nagas to emulate the friendship between Tuophema, his native village, and Ungma so that they can live in peace.

Reminding the state government`s policy of promoting traditional festivals to attract tourists, Rio urged people to preserve the culture, character and identity of the Nagas.

He also discounted the perception that the celebration of Naga traditional festivals clashes against Christianity. Dance, music and community feast marked the celebration.

The North Eastern Council (NEC) secretary along with senior government officials attended the celebration at Ungma Wednesday. Later, the chief minister laid the foundation stone for construction of Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) in the village.