Guwahati: In Meghalaya’s Kongthong village, a mother calls her child by a tune instead of a name. The villagers have two names in Kongthong-a regular name and a song name.
The Ministry of Tourism has nominated Meghalaya’s Kongthong village, also known as the ‘Whistling village’, for the World Tourism Organization’s “Best Tourism Villages” award along with two other villages in the country.
The two other villages that have been nominated for UNWTO ‘Best Tourism Villages’ award are–Pochampally in Telangana and Ladhpura Khas in Madhya Pradesh.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for the achievement.
Sitharaman informed on Twitter that in Kongthong village people compose a tune for calling a person instead of names.
“Congratulations Meghalaya on Kongthong being selected ‘Best Tourism Village”.
@SangmaConrad. The village in which people compose a tune for calling a person in the place of names!” Sitharaman wrote.
Congratulations Meghalaya on Kongthong being selected ‘Best Tourism Village”. @SangmaConrad
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) September 8, 2021
In this village, a mother calls her child by a tune instead of a name, like–Eeooow, Ooeeo, etc. The villagers have two names in Kongthong-a regular name and a song name. In fact, the song names have two versions, a short song and a long song.
The short song is normally used at home. The longer names are used in the forest to keep away evil spirits.
The musical names are called ‘jingrwai Iawbei’ in the village.
The village, with a population of around 700 people, has one school up to Class 8th, and 3 km is a secondary school. For higher studies, the villagers go to Shillong.
In 2019, Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar Rakesh Sinha adopted the village and had suggested a UNESCO tag for the hamlet.
“Two years ago, my adopted whistling village Kongthong was not known even to the people of Meghalaya. Now, it is ready for the Best Tourism Village in the world,” Sinha said in a tweet.
Whistling village’Kongthong,adopted by me in’19has been selected for entry to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’category of ‘Best Tourism Village’in the world. thanks to Hon’ble pm Sh @narendramodi ji for promoting village tourism.Thanks to @SangmaConrad for his help. pic.twitter.com/MfIWaBBqfW
— Prof Rakesh Sinha MP (@RakeshSinha01) September 8, 2021
In January this year, CM Sangma had assured to release ₹1 crore for developing tourism infrastructure at Kongthong.