In good news, the Ministry of Tourism has nominated Meghalaya’s Kongthong village for the World Tourism Organization’s Best Tourism Villages award along with two other villages in India (Pochampally of Telangana and Ladhpura Khas in Madhya Pradesh). Also popular as the ‘Whistling village’, Kongthong is quite popular among tourists. The village has a very unique tradition wherein a mother calls her kid with a tune instead of a name. In fact, the villagers here have two names, one a regular name and the other a tune name.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma took to Facebook and shared the happy news with the world. He wrote, “Meghalaya’s whistling village Kongthong is selected for entry to the UNWTO World Tourism Organization ‘Best Tourism Village’ along with 2 other villages in the country.”
Jingrwai Iawbei, the tune-name tradition
The beautiful village is renowned for its natural bounty and for its unique tradition ‘Jingrwai Iawbei’. Under this tradition, a mother gives a tune or lullaby to her child within a week of birth like Eeooow or Ooeeo, etc. This tune becomes the kid’s identity. Not only this, the mother has to think of a different tune than the already existing ones to make sure the child’s identity remains his own. Another interesting thing here is that villagers are habituated to talking through tunes.
The villagers have two names, a regular name and a song name and the song name will have two versions, a short song and a long song! The short one is their pet name and the longer one is used in the forest to ward away evil spirits.
The population of the village is around 700, and there’s one school for kids. The village was adopted by a Bihar Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha who had suggested a UNESCO tag for the village.
Along with Kongthong, Pochampally Village in Telangana and Ladhpura Khas village in Madhya Pradesh have also been nominated for the award.