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Curtains down on NEZCC silver jubilee
Correspondent
 DIMAPUR, April 2 – The year-long silver jubilee celebration of the North East Zone Cultural Center (NEZCC), spread across all the NE states through roadshows staged in at least 22 locations, drew down its curtains in Dimapur Monday night amidst a scintillating mixture of indigenous dances and folk songs.

The final night had in attendance Governor Ashwani Kumar as the chief host and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio as the chief guest. The Governor is also the chairman of the NEZCC. The three former directors of the NEZCC were also felicitated on the occasion.

The CM, in his address, hoped that the event would eventually teach the people of the northeast, particularly the Nagas, ‘to be cultured, to be wiser and to be a better person.’ Any society, he reasoned, must learn to be respectful and cultured from the performers and artistes of diverse communities.

“To be promoting culture is honourable and it is admirable. Performers and artistes are highly respected because they become the promoters and ambassadors of the best of everything,” Rio said.

On the occasion, he also expressed hope that the new Governor would work his magic and ‘transform the Centre.’ Rio described Governor Kumar as the ‘man whose touch turns everything into gold’ and suggested that he could begin the transformation by building a ‘big, nice indoor Cultural Hall’ inside the NEZCC complex.

The current one, a stage built on open ground, was ‘too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter’, he felt. The CM suggested the NEZCC team accompanied by ‘some artistes and architects’ to pay a visit to the Bangkok Cultural Centre (BCC) and ‘borrow the concept.’

“I am sure the Government of India will not hesitate to give generous funding,” he said.

while assuring that even the State government was ready to provide ‘all the logistical support.’ Rio maintained that such a centre modelled on the BCC with international standard would be a ‘pride of the North East.’

Governor Kumar, in his address, said the ‘uniqueness of the North East lies in its diversity and the rest of India should take a lesson from its variety and cultural richness.’ “The art and craft of the North East, folklore, music song, dance and dress makes this region a veritable storehouse of our rich cultural heritage,” he said.

Kumar congratulated and thanked the NEZCC for projecting the NE region ‘to the rest of the country in a positive and effective manner.’ “They have succeeded in bringing a deep sense of belonging among the artistes and artisans of North East region.”

He also acknowledged that even as the NEZCC is spread over a vast area, ‘it is yet to have better building and necessary infrastructure.’ “As we enter into a new year, we must take stock of the situation and have a re-look at our goals and plans, tasks and targets before us,” Kumar said.

Director of the NEZCC Som Kamei proposed the vote of thanks. According to NEZCC sources more than 300 artistes had assembled to perform in the final evening today.

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