Nominate Meghalaya's Whistled language for UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Nominate Meghalaya's Whistled language for UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

This petition made change with 615 supporters!

Malvika Vazalwar started this petition to Sangeet Natak Akademi and

The unique 'whistled language' in the documentary above is a fast-disappearing oral-tradition.

Created by the indigenous women of Kongthong, Meghalaya for their new borns, it needs urgent safeguarding. To consider this language as a nominee to the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage would be a small step in that direction.

Similar to the recent inclusion of ‘Sfyria' the whistled version of spoken Greek that was initiated by a petition and championed by the local bodies! 

In India, The Ministry of Culture (MoC) has appointed Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) to prepare dossiers for any nomination.

Your signature can help start the process and safeguard this unique language!

Please sign if this resonates.

We request SNA to collaborate with the Kongthong Cooperative Society, the Tourism of Meghalaya and the state party, to prepare nomination dossiers, which is the first step to nominate the 'whistled language'. 

A whistled thank you!


Further reading (3 mins):

Personal Story: A whistling artist, I was introduced to the art of whistling when I was a child. Today, having performing at the Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai and on Radio for 'World Music Day', only to meet many who were unaware about this talent. It only showed me the recognition whistling as a unique art form deserves and awaits.

Research: Yet, on the other hand, I was equally oblivious of whistling as a form of customary communication in my country, until I came across documentaries (Watch The Quint courtesy Oinam Doren, Film maker of the awarded 'My Name is Eeooow') and articles (read this ED Times article) on the 'whistled language' from the 'whistling village' Kongthong, in Meghalaya, India.

Unique Identity: To my astonishment, a whistled identity; unique to each person is used by the residents! As reported by The Better India, every mother in this village composes a lullaby for her new born, this whistled tune is then used as a unique identity/ name, their entire life! When the person dies, the tune dies with them and is never used or repeated for anybody else.

Unknown: Fascinating, right? But I was upset to read that - "In the last few years, several scholars from Europe and USA have spent time in the village to study and understand its unique system of communication. Sadly, this rich oral tradition has remained little-known in its own country, with the government doing little to protect this cultural heritage or give it the recognition it deserves."

Your signature will safeguard a unique identity enjoyed by about 700 inhabitants of Meghalaya.  


This petition made change with 615 supporters!