Meghalaya's whistling village Kongthong, along with the other two villages in the country, has been selected for entry to United Nation's World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 'Best Tourism Village'. The other two villages that have been nominated are Pochampally in Telangana and Ladhpura Khas in Madhya Pradesh.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma tweeted and confirmed the same. "Meghalaya's whistling village Kongthong is selected for entry to the UNWTO 'Best Tourism Village' along with two other villages in the country," he tweeted.
The feature that makes Kongthon popular among tourists is its ancient tradition, where a mother calls her child by a tune instead of a name, like--Eeooow, Ooeeo, etc. In this village, people have two names-original name and a song name, which also has two versions-a short song and a long song. People are usually called by short songs at homes whereas long songs are used in the forests to keep the evil spirits away, Mint reported. The musical names are referred as 'jingrwai Iawbei' in the village.
The village, with its mesmerising beauty, attracts a number of tourists every year. With a population of around 700 people, the village has just one school up to the middle class. Those who want to pursue higher education go to Shillong, Mint reported.
In 2019, Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar Rakesh Sinha adopted the village and had suggested a UNESCO tag for the hamlet. "Two years ago, my adopted whistling village Kongthong was not known even to the people of Meghalaya. Now, it is ready for the Best Tourism Village in the world," Sinha tweeted.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Sangma for the achievement while informing about the village's uniqueness.
Earlier this year, Sangma had assured to release Rs 1 crore for the development of tourism at Kongthong.