In a village in India, people are called by their own whistle

In Kongthong village, India, no one hears the desperate cries of a mother calling for Enzo or Valentina to come home and bathe. Much less technology counts a lot, which avoids thousands of missed calls or multi-minute audio messages. There, each child born is given a unique melody created by his mother. So it is common to hear whistles like birdsong - they are actually called straight to someone.

According to Pyndaplin Shabong, mother of three, "the melody's composition comes from the bottom of the heart." "It's a way of expressing my joy and my love for the baby." The tradition is centuries old and widely used by the village's nearly 700 residents, who prefer to whistle to communicate.

Although they also have proper names, whistles, which last between 4 and 6 seconds, are the most widely used methods. But unlike names, which can be used on more than one person eventually, the melody itself is unique and non-transferable. Even if the individual dies, their melody will never be used to identify another resident. The sounds may even be similar but never identical.

However, if the subject is a scolding or fight, the tone is universal. In such cases, the name is used in a way that only angry mothers can pronounce. And then it's each one for you!

Musical background

The origin of this custom, called jingrwai lawbei, seems to come from Indian folklore. It is a reference to the Khasi people, who believe in the magical power of the original mother.

According to local stories, "If invisible spirits from nearby forests hear the name of someone being called, it will make them sick." In practice, the sound waves of a whistle seem to echo farther and farther in the fields than the call of a name. This makes it easier and more convenient to contact someone over long distances.

There is no precision as to when the practice started in the village, but it seems to have been with the formation of the village about 5 centuries ago. However, this tradition may be with the contact days. With technological expansion reaching farther and farther away, the village has also been changing. Younger people are already whistling names based on Bollywood songs, and talking to friends via cell phone has happened more often.


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