Turkish Village Where People Whistle Instead of Speaking

Kuşköy basically translates to the “Village of birds” and here people speak the language of birds.

The world that we live in is vast and filled with people of different cultures, religions, and traditions. They might differ from one another in every aspect but are equally important and beautiful.

“Ku__ş dili” or “bird language” is a beautiful tradition kept alive by the people ofKuşköy, a mountainous valley of the Black Sea coast of Turkey.

Where the rest of the world speak when they need to communicate, the people of the Kuşköy village communicate using a special language, a whistle language.

Kuşköy basically translates to the “Village of birds” and here people speak the language of birds.

“Ku__ş dili” isn’t just some sound these people make, it is, in fact, a solid language that is spoken by a very few thousand people that are left in the village.

Bird Language of Turkey

According to UNESCO, there are only around ten thousand people in the district of Çanakçı in the Giresun province who are able to speak and understand this language fluently.

The Turkish people have been using the bird language for centuries and it is a crucial part of their tradition.

People used to use this language as a way to communicate in the steep mountain as one’s voice while speaking wouldn’t reach to another person.

However, the bird language has evolved into something that is used in a day to day life to communicate instead of using a language almost all humans use in the rest of the world.

Languages can be learned in schools and colleges despite people speaking it every day. Children have the ability to learn the basics as well as the complexity of language, grammar, and phonetics all in school.

But the whistle language is something that is passed on to the kids in turkey by their parents who learned it from theirs, and so on.

Whistle Language under Threats.

Traditions are supposed to be passed on and kept alive by people. This is how the people of all generations know the importance and meaning of traditions.

Be that as it may, this generations-old Turkish tradition is on the verge of losing its identity.

Compared to the older days, there are a very few speakers of Ku__ş dili or the bird language in Kuşköy village.

In the past, everyone in the village, as well as its surrounding area, used to communicate by whistling. They used to talk, argue, and gossip using the whistle language.

Bird Language of Turkey

Kids used to learn the skill before even enrolling in school in their homes from their parents.

But today, according to research, there are very few women who learn the language anymore.

Even though there are a handful of men who are fluent at whistling, they learn the skill as a teenager just for the sake of it.

The bird language has now become an essential part of the world heritage as it’s on the verge of fading away.

And to protect its beauty UNESCO has named it an endangered part of the world heritage which is in need of urgent protection.

Ku__ş dili now joins the “List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding”.

How a language did came under threat?

There are might be a few reasons behind this. The first has to be the lack of interest of young kids who just aren’t willing to be whistling when they can speak and communicate.

Another one has to be people using it less often. Ku__ş dili isn’t the only whistle language in the world. In fact, people from different parts of the world have their very own version of the bird language.

Bird Language of Turkey

For example, the Silbo on the island of La Gomera in the Canary Island, in France in the village of Aas in the Pyrenees, the Chepang of Nepal, in the Kongthong village of Meghalaya in India just to name a few.

And all these languages are in threat due to the decreasing number of speakers.

However, the biggest threat to Ku__ş dili is the utilization of technology.

As mobile phones became widely available and used in Kuşköy, the number of whistlers decreased. Phones became a part of most of the village people’s daily lives and a convenient form of communication.

Communicating through the phone was easier and more private than whistling from one end to the other due to which the threat became real.

Bird Language of Turkey

But when it comes to traditions, it’s not something you should let go so easily because it’s so much more than convenience. It’s more about who you are as a person, your pride, and something that represents you and makes you unique in the whole world.

And just so the people of Kuşköy preserve their tradition, they have been organizing an annual whistling contest in the town itself.

Apart from saving and continuing the tradition, the competition also encourages tourism which helps the town economically as well.

Additionally, they’ve also begun teaching it in schools and are maing alphabets based on the bird language to preserve the heritage.

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