Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured by Meghalaya's Kongthong village, which is also known as the "whistling village" by making him part of a unique tradition that goes back centuries.
Everyone's name is a melody as mothers compose a special tune for each child when it is born in this village, located in the lush, rolling hills of the northeast state. Inhabited by the Khasi people, everyone in the village addresses the person with the individual little tune or whistle for a lifetime.
The conventional "real" names are rarely used. The custom of assigning tunes to residents here is known as "jingrwai lawbei", meaning "song of the clan's first woman."
Around 60km from capital Shillong, Kongthong has long been cut off from the rest of the country, several hours of tough trek from the nearest town. The centre has taken up the initiative to put the village on the map by promoting tourism.
The village was recently nominated for the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Contest from India by the Ministry of Tourism.
As a token of honour, a tune was composed by a woman in the village to thank the PM for his efforts. After it was posted by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Twitter, PM Modi shared a video of the same.
The Meghalaya chief minister tweeted, "Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi, please accept this special tune composed by the villagers of Kongthong in your honour & in appreciation of GoI's efforts in promoting the village as a prime tourism destination."
The PM replied, "Grateful to the people of Kongthong for this kind gesture. The Government of India is fully committed to boosting the tourism potential of Meghalaya. And yes, have also been seen great pictures of the recent Cherry Blossom Festival in the state. Looks beautiful. @SangmaConrad."
Sitting outside a wooden hut, a woman named Kong Shidiat Khongsit can be seen humming a tune in honour of the PM in the video. The landscape of the melodious village with lush green hills and forest areas is also shown in the video clip.
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