EAB News 2002-09-05: EAB NetNews Bulletin

EAB NetNews - September 2002


E A B N E T N E W S No 11 (5 Sep 2002)


*** Keeping you up-to-date about Esperanto, for people in the UK ***


1. ESPERANTO COURSE AT UNESCO "A REAL POSSIBILITY"
2. "LEARN ESPERANTO" SAY WORLD FEDERALISTS
3. "26 SEPTEMBER IS THE EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES" - CILT
4. VOICES FROM THE PAST WITH ESP
5. AFRICAN ESPERANTISTS ABROAD
6. OPEN HOUSE
7. WHAT'S ON


1. ESPERANTO COURSE AT UNESCO "A REAL POSSIBILITY"

UNESCO's representative at the World Esperanto Congress, held last month in Fortaleza, Brazil, has called upon the Esperanto movement to "show itself more to the outside world".

"Your movement is full of life and activity", continued Mr Patrick Gallaud speaking in Esperanto, which he had been studying during the week. "I enjoyed the extraordinary atmosphere here, admired your rich and living culture, took part in extremely interesting debates and discussions, enjoyed shows and excursions, and so on", he told a delighted audience of about 1500 people from around 50 nationalities at the closing ceremony.

He then talked of UNESCO (the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation http://www.unesco.org/) and the Universal Esperanto Association http://www.uea.org/ working more closely together. Two projects which he mentioned specifically as being worthy of UNESCO support are 'Indiĝenaj Dialogoj' and 'Interkulturo'.

'Indiĝenaj Dialogoj' http://www.idnetwork.nl/central/eng/ is an independent project, supported by UEA and others, promotes communication between peoples of minority ethnic groups, whose culture and language are under threat. Their brochure http://www.idnetwork.nl/central/eng/ID-en.pdf (Esperanto version at .../ID-eo.pdf) describes their aims, and explains why they use Esperanto. There is also a section on 'How you can help'. One option, for instance, is to sponsor an individual on a course.

'Interkulturo' encourages intercultural education in schools worldwide, and it runs a 'virtual school' http://il.uniroma3.it/kler/ which (once you manage to find the way in!) gives the school layout, and a way in to all the facilities you'd expect in a normal school http://il.uniroma3.it/kler/halo.htm.

Patrick Gallaud, concluded his speech by announcing that an Esperanto course at UNESCO was "a real possibility". President of the Universal Esperanto Association, Dr Renato Corsetti, has just told NetNews that UEA are planning to get the ball rolling with the multilingual multimedia Kurso de Esperanto http://www.cursodeesperanto.com.br/en/index.html.

UEA and UNESCO have enjoyed official relations since 1954. In 1977 The World Esperanto Congress was addressed (in French) by Unesco's Director General, Mr. Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow. In 1985 the General Conference called on member states and international organisations to promote the teaching of Esperanto in schools and its use in international affairs. Watch this space!


2. "LEARN ESPERANTO" SAY WORLD FEDERALISTS

The World Federalist Movement, at its world congress in London in July, has resolved to encourage its members to learn Esperanto http://www.worldfederalist.org/congress/policy.html.

The resolution was passed on July 15, following a meeting the previous day with a number of representatives of the Esperanto movement. We reported on how this event came about in NetNews 9 http://www.esperanto.org/uk/eabnetnews/netnews000009.txt.

"It was a vigorous and enthusiastic meeting of over 60 world federalists and London Esperantists in Imperial College, London, as part of the congress", writes David Kelso. The discussion was led by David Thornell, the North American president of the London Esperanto Club, Professor Ron Glossop, from the US, Etsuo Miyoshi, company president from Japan, Charles Rowe, a linguist from England and Japan, and David Kelso, from Scotland, director of the Esperanto Association of Britain.

At present the World Federalist Movement uses only English during its conferences, a practice which many feels puts non-native speakers at a disadvantage. Etsuo Miyoshi pointed out that many Japanese members had great difficulty following the proceedings, and at that moment they were not present precisely for that reason. He gave some instances of his own difficulties in marketing his company's wares in the US, Korea and China. "If the Japanese learned Esperanto conscienciously in schools, they could all become internationalists, but with English this is not possible", he pointed out. "Especially for World Federalists, an impartial and neutral means of communication is an indespensible condition", he concluded.

Dr Renato Corsetti, president of the Universal Esperanto Association, commented afterwards to NetNews (in Esperanto): "The passing of this resolution gives us an opportunity to inform world federalists about Esperanto on a large-scale. In one sense, it marks the end of one phase of the work with world federalists. The real work begins now. All those who worked so efficiently during the congress merit our praise."


3. "26 SEPTEMBER IS THE EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES" - CILT

"Speak up for languages!" says a slogan in the website of The Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT). The Centre has launched a campaign to get people involved on the European Day of Languages, in spreading awareness of the importance of languages in the United Kingdom.

"It will be a day for encouraging people of all ages to start learning a new language, to take part in events, celebrating learning and speaking other languages, and to focus on the benefits that language learning brings", says their website http://www.cilt.org.uk/edl/index.htm.

There is plenty of useful advice on how anyone can join in. They offer free stickers and postcards, a downloadable poster, and other aids such as a BBC video (not free) showing the need for foreign languages. In a section for people at work, they offer a number of interesting activities. How about a team-building exercise on September 26, and use it to teach a foreign language (and what better a language to choose than Esperanto? -ed), or sending a European Day of Languages virtual greetings card (Esperanto not included in their list, but you can find interesting ones at http://esperanto.nu/bildogramo/index.html), or send a postcard with one of a number of hard-hitting slogans, such as "Internet users are 3 times more likely to buy when addressed in their mother tongue", produced by the Languages National Training Organisation?

You could also mark the day by taking part in a Languages at Work survey. This is to be run by Language Advantage http://www.languageadvantage.com "to find out from you whether you're using your languages more at work and whether your workplace is more 'language positive' ". To take part, sign up for their newsletter http://www.languageadvantage.com/newsletter/index.htm.

In a previous poll, they asked "What will be the world language of the 21st century?". From the results over the second half of 2001 (though only 37 responded), they reported: "You think that Spanish may edge ahead as the next world language, although English will remain dominant. Some of you are hedging your bets and say that there will be a number of world languages in the 21st century! One of you suggested it would be Esperanto. Let's wait and see who is right ..." http://www.languageadvantage.com/surveys/poll.htm.


4. VOICES FROM THE PAST WITH ESP

No, it's not ExtraSensory Perception, or even English for Special Purposes, but a record label, taken from the word ESPeranto. It was around in the swinging sixties, popularising the concept of free jazz. The recordings themselves didn't seem to have much to do with Esperanto, but affecionados will be aware of the fact that it was inspired by Bernard Stollman's interest in the language, and especially by the title of a record that he'd previously produced, called 'Ni Kantu en Esperanto' [Let's sing in Esperanto], later rereleased as ESP-1001.

In June this year they rereleased eight of their records http://www.forcedexposure.com/new/2002jun7.html, and the booklets include a brief history of ESP - or, to be precise, ESP-Disk. In the New York Times, Bernard Stollman recounts how he came near to issuing John Lennon and Yoko Ono's song 'Two Virgins' on his label. Later he was rather glad he hadn't, when he heard that FBI agents had confiscated all the copies http://www.nypress.com/14/27/music/music2.cfm.

I seem to remember that we had in mind inviting John Lennon to be patron ['Alta Protektanto'] of the 1971 World Esperanto Congress, held in London , should the Lord Mayor have declined. I've often wondered whether he would have accepted. But that's a particular voice from the past that we can't access even with ESP!


5. AFRICAN ESPERANTISTS ABROAD

Viktor Mensah, from Togoland, and Prince Henry [Henriko] Oguinye, from Nigeria, have set up a group 'Esperantistoj Afrikaj Eksterlande' [African Esperantists Abroad], with the purpose of giving help to the budgeoning Esperanto movement in Africa. Viktor lives in London, but Henriko is now back in Nigeria. They are working with the African Office of the Universal Esperanto Association in Lome, Togoland afrikaoficejoathotmail.com. They also want to help keep Europeans informed on Africa, and encourage them to attend their congresses.

One activity is to collect donations of Esperanto books, and send them over to the African Office in Lome, Togoland.

There is enormous enthusiasm amongst African Esperantists to visit European Esperanto events, in order to experience the language where it has long been established. Most of them are young, too. In 2000 around 30 tried to get visas for the Skota Semajno [Scottish Week], but only one succeeded, and he arrived a few weeks after the event - at Barlaston! Their enthusiasm is generally tinged with a sense of frustration because of the practical difficulties in getting visas, and in communicating with the rest if the world. A number of young Esperantists in Brazaville, in the Congo, are feeling rather isolated at the moment. They recently learned Esperanto, and now want to talk to the world. So anyone who wishes to make contact with them will be welcomed with open arms. Details can be provided by the UEA African Office afrikaoficejoathotmail.com.

In NetNews 7 we reported on Kate Hall's work on 'Afrika Reto' [African Network]. At the World Esperanto Congress in August, Kate was awarded Honorary Membership of the Universal Esperanto Association. Her work for Africa was the main point listed when the announcement was made

Anyone wishing to offer help with Esperanto in Africa may appreciate these contact addresses: Viktor Mensah: mensahaathotmail.com; Prince Henry [Henriko] Oguinye: lostbaby2atonebox.com.


6. OPEN HOUSE

"The universal language is alive and well, and its supporters are about to move into lŭurious premises in Stoke-on-Trent", The Independent announced on Saturday in a quarter-page article in its Traveller supplement. Under the heading "A universal travel tongue", Callum Watkinson asks - and answers - the question: "Is there life yet for the Esperanto language". Perhaps inevitably, the illustration is a photo of a bald bearded 57-year-old with a green star and wire-rimmed glasses, with the caption "I had a dream: L L Zamenhof" - not quite the modern image that younger speakers of the language would have hoped for! But the text brings the image back up-to-date. The hook for the article was the forthcoming opening of Esperanto House - the new headquarters of EAB - on 17 September.

The two new EAB 'supremos' for Education and Information - Grahame Leon-Smith and Helen Fantom - are to make use of the three-day event at Barlaston to plan out forthcoming strategy and to encourage member participation. "The first step is in bringing about a sense of involvement and enthusiasm", said Helen Fantom, who is hoping to reinvent the publicity machine, starting off with the Press Panel (with Elizabeth Stanley). Grahame Leon-Smith has already made an impressive start in the world of education. Both are wanting to draw up lists of volunteers - some to take on specific responsibilities, and others to be simply on call, should the need arise.

One activity may be to link the Press Panel in with the new 'reago' system, launched by Don Harlow in the US. This is an email distribution list which alerts members to new substantial articles about Esperanto in the World's press, so that they can react if they wish to. (To join, send a blank email to reago-subscribeatyahoo.com). Another activity may be how to make the best use of the web course 'Esperanto Viva!' http://esperanto.org/espviva - the distribution of the exercises should by then be fully automated, and so we should be ready for large scale use. This will mean finding more tutors and more students. And how will the information appearing in EAB NetNews best be put to use?

The meeting will be held on the first day (Monday 16th) of the event between 17:00 and 18:00 (dinner is at 18:30), under the title "Informado kaj Edukado: Ek al la praktikado!" (it will be held in Esperanto). David Kelso, EAB's Director of Development will chair the meeting, and a subsequent question-and-answer session.


7. WHAT'S ON

The big event for the Esperanto Association of Britain this month is the Opening of Esperanto House - the association's new office building, sited at the Wedgwood Memorial College next door to Barlaston station in Staffordshire. The event runs from Monday, September 16 (12:00) to Wednesday September 18 (13:30), with the formal opening ceremony on the Tuesday. The president of the Universal Esperanto Association, Dr Renato Corsetti (of the Third University of Rome), and former president Professor John Wells (of University College London) will each give a lecture, and Dr Corsetti will also lead an open forum, for questions and answers, and of course suggestions. Geoffrey King, the association's librarian, will answer questions on the newly housed Butler Library.

Accomodation at the college is now fully booked, but there is space for anyone wishing to come for a day visit, and there is accomodation at a B&B one mile down the road - and plenty of space to pitch a tent in the college's camping site. Information from eabatesperanto-gb.org, tel: 01782 372 141.

Following this momentous occasion is an Internacia Amikeca Renkontiĝo [International Friendship Get-together] in Aylesford, Kent (07-08 September). Information from Terry Page (terry-pageatsupanet.com, +44 (0)1908-564004). If you're wanting to brush up your Esperanto beforehand, how about a weekend at the Skota Studrondo [Scottish Study Circle] on 7-8 September, in Dunblane (davidatbisset100.freeserve.co.uk, +44-1698-263199).

Eric Walker is looking for people to go with him to the Faulhaber-Semajnfino [Faulhaber Weekend] in Elspeet, The Netherlands, travelling over on Friday October 8. He particularly wishes "to encourage beginners who have progressed a little to put there toe into the water", he says. The plan is to travel by car, meeting up at Colchester station at 9.15 am, but, depending on how many are interested, this may be changed to train and ferry. The anticipated cost is between 105 and 130 euros. The topic for the weekend is 'komunikado' [communication]. Info from ericwalkeratgn.apc.org or, from the Dutch end, from Sally Krombee.van Aartsen, Vijverstr. 3, NL-4421 AW Kapelle, The Netherlands.

If you're young and wish to learn about information strategies using the Internet, then how about a week at the EatI seminar at Lesjefors in Sweden (27 Oct - 3 Nov)? Info from echeiattejo.org. Then there's a Post-Somera Klaĉ-Kunveno [a post-Summer gossip meeting!] near Brussels (20-22 Sep - yves.nevelsteenattijd.be), or an international week of culture and tourism near Tarragone (+34-937253421 or +34-937275021 +34-937314111, luis_serranoate-milio.com). There's even mountain climbing in Slovenia (+385-1-913654626, vanja.radovanovicatetk.ericsson.se) and a 'Festivalo de Babilono' in Baghdad, if you can make it (22 Sep - 1 Oct, Tel: +964-1-5537514, himyaraturuklink.net). All these and more are listed at http://www.eventoj.hu/2002-os.htm.


EAB NETNEWS - a newsletter from Esperanto Association of Britain
Editor: Ian Fantom, eabnetnewsatesperanto.org, tel: +44 (0)1635 38592
EAB Office: Esperanto Association of Britain, Wedgwood Memorial College, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9DE, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1782 372141 Fax: +44 (0)1782 372393
Web: http://www.esperanto.org.uk

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