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A Village in Turkey Uses a Secret Whistling Language to Chat

You’ve heard the phrase, “whistle while you work.” Well, in one remote Turkish town nestled in the mountains, villagers take it to the next level. They use their own special language of whistles to communicate! Who needs words when you can whistle?

The Bird’s The Word

The language consists of unique sounds originally meant to communicate across mountainous terrain. It’s a sophisticated system of high pitched whistles that can be used to call out a neighbor’s name, to ask questions, to complain about in-laws, even to politely decline an awkward invitation.

It’s important that the whistle is loud enough to be heard over big stretches of land or valleys. You’ve got to have a strong Bird Language game if you want to call your kids for dinner if they’re on a different mountain.

A Rare Bird

Although Bird Language used to be spoken, or whistled, over a large territory spread across the Black Sea, it’s now commonly spoken in a small town called Kuskoy. These days, it’s estimated only 10,000 people speak Bird Language today.

As a result, UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, declared in an endangered part of world heritage that it’s important to protect.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Or, sure, call it a comeback. The residents of Kuskoy are still whistling and Bird Language is on the rise. The villagers started to throw an annual festival celebrating Bird Language. They’ve also started teaching the whistling code in schools so the next generation doesn’t lose a connection to it.

Bird Language is an important part of their culture that the people of the region want to preserve. Heads up, if you visit and Turkish villagers break into whistles? They’re definitely talking about you.

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