Giresun University, located in northern Turkey, offers its students the first ever elective course on ‘bird language’, a whistled form of communication peculiar to Kuşköy (literally Bird Village) in the Black Sea region.
This whistled language has been used for centuries by
locals in Kuşköy and was included in
UNESCO’s famed list of Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2017. However, the language
faces the threat of extinction as technology has been rapidly changing the way
Aside from teaching this endangered language in its classic
use, the university also focuses their studies on whether it can be used as a
key communication method in search and rescue work in the aftermath of
“We are worried that this whistled language will soon only be a ‘show language’ rather than [a basic communication tool] and will be a dead language. We need to preserve this cultural heritage and convey it to future generations,” as said by professor Musa Genç, the dean of Giresun University’s Faculty of Tourism.