‘Jingrwai lawbei’ is a tune every child inherits from his or her mother in Meghalaya’s Kongthong village

Shillong: Much has been heard about the Whistling Village in Konthong, East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya for its distinct way of addressing each other through jingrwai lawbei, a tune every child inherits from their mother.

In the Zero Hour of Rajya Sabha recently, BJP MP Rakesh Sinha raised the need to uplift the unique practice and urged the government for a heritage library and a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage tag for the unique whistle IDs which every child has in Kongthong village of Meghalaya.

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Situated 56 km from state capital Shillong, the village is located in the Khat-ar Shnong area on the way to Sohra in East Khasi Hills. It has 125 households with a population of around 650.

MP Sinha, in his speech, also stressed on the need to preserve the culture. He compared Meghalaya’s whistling village to a village called Kuskoy in Turkey and how they converse with whistles and not words — a “bird’s language”. He said the village was recognised by UNESCO IN 2018 and has added the language to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

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