Since time immemorial, humans have been inspired by nature in numerous ways. The animals or birds they came in contact with, they have tried to establish a communication by imitating voices or interpreting them in a different manner.
Talking about whistles, we know that it is used for calling attention. But in the rugged terrain, where people can hardly see each other, whistling ‘bird language’ becomes a distinctive means of communication. Known for its natural beauty, Turkey’s Black Sea region has a 400-year-old whistled language as a part of their cultural heritage.
Thanks to UNESCO, the bird language has been considered as a practice that needs ‘urgent safeguarding’ and it has been noted under UN cultural agency’s list of endangered languages. Due to this, people’s interest in the whistle language is on the rise. Local and national representatives are also coming forward to protect the cultural heritage.
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“Now the world will also know it as the land of bird language. People’s interest in whistle language will increase after this,” a bird language campaigner Seref Cocek said.
At present, about 10,000 people use it, mostly in the district of Canakci in Giresun province. Kuskoy which means ‘bird village’ is one of those places. Further, UNESCO calls bird language a strong indicator of human creativity.
In the age of technology, due to mobile phones, the need to learn ‘bird language’ has been reduced. A Kuskoy resident, Mehmet Kocek says, “It makes us happy to see this treasure of ours isn’t a fad.” He is further making efforts to keep the tradition alive through its annual Bird Language Festival, mentioned BBC report. The best part is that the district schools of this region have introduced this language at the primary school level since 2014.