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Meghalaya’s beauty, Kongthong: One of the best tourism village in Northeast

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Meghalaya’s beauty, Kongthong, a village in the East Khasi Hills has been selected as one of three Indian entries by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in the ‘Best Tourism Village’ contest, said Chief Minister of Meghalaya,  Conrad K Sangma.

About Kongthong

Kongthong is a small village located in the Khat-ar Shnong area. The village takes 60 km to the south of Shillong. It is popular for its magnificent view, culture, and virgin beauty.

“#Meghalaya’s whistling village Kongthong is selected for entry to the @UNWTO ‘Best Tourism Village’ along with 2 other villages in the country,” the chief minister tweeted.

Statements made on Kongthong


“The UNWTO is looking for the best examples of rural villages which harness the power of tourism to safeguard communities, local traditions, and heritage”, an official told in a press.

He added, “the UNWTO wants to identify villages taking innovative and transformative approaches to tourism in rural areas in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”

Best Tourism Villages award

It was also selected for the World Tourism Organization’s Best Tourism Villages award along with two other villages in India by the Ministry of Tourism. Also famous as the ‘Whistling village’, Kongthong is very popular among tourists. The village is filled with mixed and unique traditions where a mother summons her daughter with a tune instead of a name. The villagers in Kongthong have two names, one is considered a regular name and the other is their tune name.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma shared on Facebook and wrote about the good news. He wrote, “Meghalaya’s whistling village Kongthong is selected for entry to the UNWTO World Tourism Organization ‘Best Tourism Village’ along with 2 other villages in the country.”

The tune-name tradition

The beautiful village is rich by nature and popular for its unique and beautiful tradition a

This includes ‘Jingrwai Iawbei’, the tune-name tradition where a mother gives a lullaby to her child in the form of a name which is within a week of birth. The name can be Eeooow or Ooeeo, etc. And the tune becomes the identity of the kid. Also, the mother has to think of a different tune so it doesn’t match the existing ones. Another amazing thing here is that the villagers are used to talking through tunes.

The two unique names

The villagers have two names and one of them is a regular name and a song name. Also, the song name will consist of two versions, a short and a long song! The short name is a pet name and the longer one is used while walking in the forest to fight with evil spirits.

The population is around 700 in the village, and there’s only one school for children. A Bihar Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha adopted the village who had also suggested a UNESCO tag for the beautiful village.

Also Read: Ex-militant’s death: 11 pressure groups in Meghalaya protests against failure of government

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