UK2007 logo EAB News 2007-08-04 to 11: British Esperantsts at 92nd World Esperanto Congress, Yokohama

Scottish poet William Auld remembered, at the 92nd World Esperanto Congress

Around 20 British Esperantists were among the 1901 participants from 57 countries at the 92nd Universala Kongreso [World Esperanto Congress] in Yokohama, Japan, from 4th to 11th August 2007.

The programme included an event paying homage to Scottish Esperanto author William Auld, who passed away on September 11th 2006. This was presented by six non-British Esperantists and the room was packed out, both of which illustrated the affection held by the whole international Esperanto community for this outstanding author and poet.

British Esperantists Helen Fantom and Jill Gubbins promoted the work and events of EAB. Geoffrey Sutton and Michael Cayley were both awarded prizes in the UEA belartaj (literary) competition, while Rolf Fantom won the first price in the oratory competition. Paul Gubbins staffed the booth of the Esperanto-language writers' association, presented an update on EAB's Springboard to Languages programme, featured in a "meet the authors" session and, with Anna Löwenstein, led a discussion on writing reviews. Anna Montesinos de Gomis staffed the booth and lead the annual meeting of the Rondo Kato (cat-lovers association).

postmark

The Japanese post office issued a commemorative postmark for the congress.

Background

This was the 92nd World Esperanto Congress in a series which started in 1905 and has taken place each year, interrupted only by the two world wars. At these events, Esperantists participate in a rich programme of talks, lectures, concerts, plays and excursions, all conducted in Esperanto, and all without the need for translators or interpreters (apart from an occasional concession to the few visiting dignitaries who haven't mastered the language). For many Esperantists, the real highlight of the event is simply to meet face-to-face and chat directly with people from across the world, without having to learn their many national languages, and without imposing our own national language and culture on them.

Each year's congress is organised by Esperantists in the hosting country and the Universala Esperanto-Asocio [World-wide Esperanto Association]. Some previous congresses have taken place in Britain; in 1907 (Cambridge), 1926 (Edinburgh), 1930 (Oxford), 1938 (London), 1949 (Bournemouth), 1961 (Harrogate), 1971 (London) and 1989 (Brighton). Next year's congress will be in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

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