T.C. KÜLTÜR VE TURİZM BAKANLIĞI ARAŞTIRMA VE EĞİTİM GENEL MÜDÜRLÜĞÜ
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Whistled Language

WHISTLED LANGUAGE

Inventory Number: 01.0018
Date of Approval: 13.03.2013
Other Names of the Element: Kuşdili, Işıklık, Işılık, Işıldık, ıklık 
ICH DOMAIN(S): Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe, Oral Traditions and Expressions
Geographical Distribution (Cities submitted inventory form for the element): Giresun

    Whistling is the sound which is given out by the finger, the tongue, the tooth, the lips and the cheeks; and whistle is the communication with the help of whistling. The whistle language is common in many parts of the Black Sea region, especially in Giresun. The words of the spoken language are articulated by using whistling technique.
    
There is no information about when people started to use the whistle language. But it is known that geographical conditions has effected the emerge of this language, its usage and development. Due to the mountainous and rugged terrains, the dispersed settlement of the Black Sea has caused people in this region to meet the need of communication by utilising the high sound capacity of whistling.
    
The whistle language has some patterns, which consist of compounds of some melodic, eurhytymic and clear sounds, on which people have compromised. The whistle language has the ability to respond the daily communication needs such as short, simple meaning units such as “okay”, “come”, “go”;  in addtion to this it uses for warning and SOS like “there is a forest fire” or calling for help like, “would you like to join us tomorrow to harvest hazelnuts”. 
    
Using the whistle language instead of climbing over deep valleys has facilitiated the communication of people in the Black Sea region but advanced communication tools such as cellphones and internet has restricted the usage area of this language. It was once a common language used by young, old, man, woman, everyone; now, it has become a language of little use especially among the young generations.
    
In Kuşköy, which is a mountain village of Giresun’s Çanakçı district in the Eastern Black Sea, a festival in which competitions have been staged between people who can use the whistle language, which has started to be called as “Kuşdili”, has been being organized once in a year in June since 1997.