The people of Kongthong, a tiny village in Meghalaya has a unique way of communicating to each other that is they sing a tune composed for each individual instead of calling names.
Just like birds, the villagers have a tradition of calling each other with a tune like every mother creates a new tune for her child. The mothers of the Kongthong use these melodious tunes to call out to their children, who also learn quickly to respond to them. Following this, they imbibed this whistled lullaby which becomes distinct from all others and turns out to be the permanent identity marker for the child.
According to an ANI report, using a tune to communicate with each individual in this village is part of an age-old tradition called 'Jingrwai lawbei.' 'Jingrwai lawbei symbolizes 'the song of the first lady of the tribe that resides here.
Although giving their names the people of Kongthong use tunes to address one another on most part of the day.
Some of the nearby villages also follow the same tradition of calling each other by using a tune.
Most villagers of Kongthong, are inspired by Bollywood song tunes and from them, they create melodious tunes for their loved ones.
A mother of three Pyndaplin Shabong told the news agency ANI “The specific tune comes out from the core of the heart of every mother. The tune compiled by a mother may sound peculiar to others, but it actually expresses happiness and love for the child,”
Kongthong is also known as whistling village. The village splayed with little huts and farms shaded by betelnut trees is a habitation of nearly 700 villagers.
They cultivate the land, hunt in the forests and live a peaceful pastoral and countryside life. For generations, villagers of Kongthong have been performing this whistling tradition.
According to a Times of India Report of February 2018 " “When a woman is pregnant, she thinks of a particular tune, sometimes a bird call, which becomes the name of the newborn. After the birth of the child, adults around it constantly hum that tune so that it identifies with the sound. This is an age-old tradition the origin of which is as distant as the region itself."
Kongthong villagers basically rely on Honey production. The Village used to collect the honey and process into an organic honey which is a highly a sellable product of this Village and one of the State own product which has brought recognition at the National and International level. The unique culture containing echoes among hills also attract tourist into this heavenly hamlet.