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La Gomera’s whistling language is “under threat from changes” says Cabildo 

PAGE 15 La Gomera's whistling  language

La Gomera has once again sprung to the defence of its unique whistling language, saying the ancient tradition is being changed and is under threat.

President of the Cabildo, Casimiro Curbelo, announced the urgent convocation of the Technical Commission of Silbo Gomero in order to address the emergence of elements that put at risk the conservation and dissemination of this whistled language.

“The Silbo Gomero, recog-nised by UNESCO, is unique and unalterable,” said Sr. Curbelo, who stressed he will maintain a firm position regarding the growing threat that this language suffers with ideas “far removed from the reality of an entrenched instrument as the only long distance communication mode existing on the Island. “

He recalled the commitment of the Canarian institutions with the Silbo Gomero and put in value the recent Institutional Declaration made by the Parliament of the Canary Islands. “This language is not a whim created from nothing; it is the reflection of the evolution of a society that needed a vehicle of communication, “he recalled before adding that there are many academic investigations carried out to determine the value of this heritage.

On its defence and dissemi-nation, the president said that since 1999 Silbo was included as part of the subject of Spanish Language and Literature from the first of Primary to the second year of Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) and, recently, has been extended to complete the whole of this educational stage.

He also highlighted the creation of the Insular Classroom of Silbo Gomero, an initiative that facilitates the learning of lan-guage in all corners of the island, allowing to safeguard this legacy with the inclusion of those citizens who did not receive training on this language in its school stage.

Finally, Curbelo said that the next plenary session of the Cabildo de La Gomera will study the proposal to create the Canary Islands Foundation of Silbo Gomero, a new dissemination tool that seeks to consolidate the teaching of this language in the rest of the archipelago.