Hindi Language Blog

Call Me By My Tune Posted by on Sep 22, 2018 in Hindi Language

Meghalaya मेघालय (Meghalaya) is a beautiful state in the northeastern region पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र (purvottar kshetra) of India. This state is also home to the indigenous Khasi people known as one of the largest groups who follow a matrilineal मातृवंशीय (matruvansheeya) tradition परंपरा (parampara).

A recent news item shed light on another unique tradition अनोखी प्रथा (anokhee pratha) practiced by the Khasi people living in and around the remote Kongthong village ग्राम (graam) of beautiful Meghalaya.

Here, when a child is born जब बच्चे का जन्म होता है (jab bacche ka janm hota hai), Khasi mothers compose a special melody विशेष धुन (vishesh dhun) for the child. This melody, which could include whistles सीटी (seetee) and other melodies, is a short tune that is then associated with the child for a lifetime — like a name. Although the children are also named in the conventional method, the musical name is the one that reportedly endures as the mother composes it with great love for her child.

Kongthong and its surrounding आसपास के (aaspaas ke) lush jungles still remain largely inaccessible to most of the world. However, reports suggest that cell phones and technology are slowly making their way in these remote regions. Will the beautiful melodic-name tradition survive the onslaught of cell phone ringtones and tunes? Only time will tell.


मेघालय (Meghalaya)= a state in northeastern India; capital city is Shillong
पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र (purvottar kshetra)=  northeastern region
मातृवंशीय(matruvansheeya)=  matrilineal
परंपरा (parampara) =  tradition
अनोखी प्रथा (anokhee pratha) =  unique/unusual practice
ग्राम (graam) =  village
जब बच्चे का जन्म होता है (jab bacche ka janm hota hai) =  when a child is born
विशेष धुन (vishesh dhun) =  special tune/melody
सीटी (seetee) =  whistle
आसपास के (aaspaas ke) =  surrounding/nearby
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About the Author: Nitya

Namaste, friends. My name is Nitya. I was born and raised in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I'm a native Hindi speaker. However, as life took me through school, college, work, and waves of friends from different parts of India, my repertoire of Hindi flavors and dialects grew and added dimension to my native fluency. Casual, formal, colloquial, and regional ... Hindi is a language with incredible variety and localization. Through this blog, I will help you learn Hindi through conversations, vocabulary, colloquialisms, and glimpses of Indian culture. आओ, मिलकर हिंदी सीखते हैं। (Aao, milkar Hindi seekhte hain!) Come, let's learn Hindi together.