India is a canvas painted with different contrasting cultures. On the one hand, you will find futuristic tech development inside high skyscrapers. On the other hand, you will find many tribes preserving nature and customs while living with very primitive means. The deep pockets of the country never fail to amaze us. These are hundreds of places in India that can leave you stunned with their unique cultures. Well, it is not possible to share about all such places. So, today we are going to tell you about a village in India, which is one of the most unique places to visit in India. This is the Kongthong village of Meghalaya, which is known as Whistling Village. The unique thing about this village is that people here are called with tunes or whistles instead of their names. So let’s delve deeper and know more about this village.
What makes Kongthong special?
Kongthong is a small village in Meghalaya, 55 kilometers away from Imphal. This village, inhabited by Khasi people, is popularly known as Whistling Village. For generations, when a child is born here, the mother makes a tune for him. Along with his name, this tune becomes the identity of that child. The custom of giving tunes to residents here is known as jingrwai lawbei, which means “song of the clan’s first woman”, a reference to the Khasi people’s mythical original mother.
#WATCH Villagers in #Meghalaya's Kongthong use unique tunes, a hum to communicate or call out to each other instead of using names. Villager says, "Mothers devise unique tunes to call out their children, these tunes are used instead of names. Each tune is specific to a person." pic.twitter.com/NpsmtVDAQD— ANI (@ANI) September 25, 2018
More than 600 people live in this village. This means that more than 600 melodies can be heard here at a time. Interestingly, the people of this village are shy and do not get along very quickly with outsiders. You will hear many sounds of hoot and whistle while walking along the road in this village. No one knows where this tradition came from, but it is believed that such customs have been in existence since the establishment of this village.
Melody is decided before birth:
In Kongthong, whenever a woman is pregnant, she chooses a lullaby for her child. After the birth of the child, the adults around the child keep on humming that tune, so that he can be identified with this sound. When children grow up with this tune, it becomes a part of their lives.
People here have real names too:
Although people here are addressed with the specially designated tune, they have real official names too. The most unique thing is that here the tune is different for every house. The villagers can tell from the tune or lullaby which house a person belongs to.
The belief behind these tunes:
You must also be thinking that how would their tune be decided? The tune is usually inspired by nature and birds. There is a belief among the people of the village that the forest is inhabited by ghosts and spirits. If they call and hear someone’s name, they will cast their evil spell on that person and that person will fall ill. Therefore songs are used as a means of their protection.