EAB News 2007-06-15 to 17: Scottish Congress

102nd Scottish Esperanto Congress

The 102nd Scottish Esperanto Congress was held in Lanark from the 15th to the 17th of June. Many participants came from Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom but we had guests from the Czech Republic, Ireland, China and Alaska; we Scots were therefore able to shake off their reputation for parochialism by conversing with our international guests in the international language!

The guest of honour was Vladka Chvatalova, a Czech now working in Belgium for the European Commission as a translator. She gave two interesting talks during the course of the congress; one about her homeland, the Czech Republic, and one entitled "Bruselo - ĉu hodiauxa Babelo?" ("Brussels - a modern-day Babel?"), concerning the politics of translation in a newly-expanded European Union of 23 official languages.

Hugh Reid continued the European theme in his presentation to the congress by explaining the aims of the "Wallström Project", in which Esperantist bloggers of the world unite to translate the blog of Margot Wallström, the European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, into the various languages of Europe - through Esperanto.

Congress participants also enjoyed a walking tour of the town of Lanark as well as a banquet on the Saturday evening, where the Esperanto conversation flowed as easily as the wine.

On the Sunday, the congress moved to New Lanark, a model village built by the utopian industrialist Robert Owen for the workers in his mills. Jack Casey gave a fascinating background talk on "Robert Owen - la homo, la vizio" ("Robert Owen - the man, the vision"); and Congress participants were treated to a guided tour of the village - a UNESCO World Heritage site, and still a living community for some 200 people.

The Scottish Esperanto Association also held its AGM and elected David Hannah as its new President. To him falls the duty of organising next year's Scottish Congress, which will be held in Invershin in the Highlands. Bringing the international language to the Scottish Highlands - now that really will shatter the Scottish reputation for parochialism!

Andrew Weir

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