Meghalaya : Villagers of Kongthong give PM Modi an unique tune

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha dons the ‘Knup’ (Khasi umbrella) during his visit to Kongthong village in East Khasi Hills on Wednesday. Image : Highland Post

Shillong (Meghalaya ),Aug 15: The Prime Minister of India is known to the world as Narendra Damodardas Modi, but in remote village of Kongthong in Meghalaya he has been assigned with a tune, which will be his unique identity for life.

The tune for the Prime Minister was composed by an elderly woman of Kongthong as an invitation to visit the unique village. It was created during the visit of BJP, Rajya Sabha, MP Rakesh Sinha.

It may be mentioned, in Kongthong, every time a baby is born, the mother composes a tune that becomes a unique identity of the child for life. It has no words, but a tune, a kind of a hum that only the villagers are able to recognise and remember.

This tune composed is known as jingrwai ïawbei.

“Visited Kongthong, where people communicate via tunes, known as the whistling village. Last session I raised this issue in RS to include it in intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO,” Sinha tweeted.

Speaking to reporters in Shillong after his visit to the village on Wednesday, the Rajya Sabha MP said that the beautiful diversities of the country create Indian culture.

“However, the onslaught of technology like mobile phones is eroding our community and family life,” Sinha said. The MP said that the Meghalaya village is an example that tradition and modernity can co-exist.

Sinha also said that during his interaction with the vice-chancellor of North Eastern Hill University, Prof S.K Srivastava he requested him to start a department of study of traditional culture of Meghalaya.
According to him, this department can document the unique tunes so that it can be preserved.

It may be mentioned that Sinha recently, participated in a discussion during zero hour. Sinha, who feared that the unique practice could disappear, asked the government to ensure Kongthong’s inclusion in the Unesco’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

He also called for the creation of a Heritage Library to safeguard the practice.
The village, located in the Khat-ar Shnong area on way to Sohra in East Khasi Hills, has 125 households with a population of around 650.

In 2017, UNESCO had inscribed Turkey’s Whistled Language on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent safeguarding.

According to UNESCO, the whistled language is a method of communication that uses whistling to simulate and articulate words.

By Special arrangement with Highland Post

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