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Whistling village creates ‘invitation tune’ for Modi

SHILLONG: Residents of Kongthong, which is famous as the whistling village, have lived up to their tradition and composed a tune inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit their village.
They whistled the invitation for the Prime Minister when Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar Rakesh Sinha visited the village on Wednesday.
The MP had earlier spoken about the village in Rajya Sabha making a case for its inclusion in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
After his trip, the MP tweeted, “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. An elderly woman has created one for @narendramodi ji as an invitation to visit the unique village”.
Shidiap Khongsit is the woman who composed the tune inviting Modi.
Talking to media persons after visiting the village, Sinha said that the village is unique as every mother there has created a unique tune for each child and the village highlights the uniqueness of India’s rich culture and diversity.
Stating that the unique tradition in the village should be preserved, he reiterated that the village should be included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage as Kuskoy village in North Turkey has been included in the list which has similar characteristics like the Kongthong village.
Stating that the village has huge tourism potential, he added that it needs better communications be it road or mobile connectivity and other facilities.
“It was my moral duty to visit the village and meet the people after I took up the matter in Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Sharing his experience in the village, he said the people are very welcoming.
“They welcomed me with the national anthem”, he said.
Sinha also said that there should be an archive of such tunes in a museum where these can be preserved.
The MP added that he would soon take up the matter with some universities, including the North-Eastern Hill University, to start a department for conducting research on such unique traditions which will help it evolve.
Later, the MP narrated his experience in Kongthong to journalists and the BJP members at the party office in the city.
To a query, he said after doing research, he came to know about the village and then he raised the matter in Rajya Sabha.
He said besides Kongthong, there are many surrounding villages which have a similar tradition.
Wahkhen, Khrang, Pdei and others along Wahrew river also follow the same pattern.
According to him, he has a special interest in the North East and the region is the mainstream part of the country.
“We say beti bachao beti padhao because daughters are ill treated, but in Manipur, you have the biggest market which is run by women and the region is a perfect example of women empowerment,” he said.
Maintaining that the region has saved itself from the onslaught of technology, he added that technology must be commanded by human beings and not vice versa.
“Community life is strong here and the rest of India must learn from the region on how to preserve tradition with modernity,” he said.

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