Endangered Bird Language on UNESCO List

OOP Digital Desk: The unusual but very efficient whistle language which is used as a means of communication by the villagers in the mountainous and remote regions of northern Turkey, has been recently included by UNESCO is its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. But the bird language, as it is popularly known, is under the threat of extinction from modern technology.

The UN Cultural Agency has accepted that the bird language used by villagers in the Black Sea region, is an endangered world heritage and needs urgent protection.

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More than 10,000 people mostly of Canakci district in Giresun province, still use the language which is a high-pitch and highly developed system of whistling. They use it to communicate between themselves in the rugged terrain where they usually can’t see each other.

The bird language dates back to nearly 500 years. It was widely used in the Black Sea region during the rule of Ottoman Empire. But the rapid growth of mobile phone systems in recent years has led to a dwindling number of people using the heritage communication system.

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In the days before the advent of mobile phones, the high-pitched sounds enabled people communicate across a great distance. The sound of whistles floated through the air and connected one remote house to another on the hostile terrain.

As technology bulldozed its way into the region, the bird language was replaced by text messages.

Here’s a video of how the bird language is used by the Turkish villagers.

Video courtesy: Arnab Dhar

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