Swetha Suresh, a 24-year-old classical singer from India recently made the country proud at the World Whistler’s Convention held in Kawasaki, Japan. The contest saw the participation of people from six countries including India, Japan, USA, Venezuela, Korea and Australia and Swetha grabbed two first prizes – becoming the first Indian woman to do so.
An accomplished Bharatanatyam dance, she mesmerised the audience by blending her talents in a unique fashion. She was seen dancing to her own tunes in one of the categories where participants had to perform another act while simultaneously whistling. And she received first prizes in the Adult Female Division and the Allied Arts Category.
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Swetha’s next goal is to set a Guinness World Record by whistling for 25 hours straight. The challenge isn’t new to her as she already holds the Asian record of whistling continuously for 18 hours.
“You use whistling to express joy like when you see your idol on a screen; in many countries, whistling is appreciated as an expression…Though we have music everywhere in our country, whistling is unfortunately not recognised,” she told India Today, adding that it is unfair to use whistling for teasing someone.
A graduate from LV Prasad Institute, Swetha has a degree in sound engineering. She was just nine when she was fascinated by the sound of a flute for the first time and tried mimicking it through whistling. Later, she developed her skills when her parents encouraged her. She is also a member of the Indian Whistler’s Association, which has over 400 members and where she is famous as the ‘Whistling Queen’.
The contest saw other winners from India as well, including Nikhil K Rane who won in the Hikifuki category and Jagat Tarkas in the Senior Divison, Recorded Accompaniment category.