Aorund 848 Esperantists from 62 countries particpated in year's World Esperanto Congress was held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Among them were British Esperantists Terry and Anica Page, who sent us these pictures.
Sightseeing bus trips before and during the World Esperanto Congress in Hanoi were in the hands of a local company Hoabinhtourist, whose guides speak adequate English but no Esperanto. When esperantist clients made it quite clear that a commentary in English would be unacceptable to them, ad hoc arrangements were hurriedly made for interpretation into the one language all could understand. Among these volunteer interpreters was EAB-member Francesco Maurelli, seen here with esperantists on a visit to the oddly-named Stone Cathedral at Phat Diem.
Even while this year's congress was taking place in Vietnam, next year's in Iceland was being actively promoted. Two members of the British contingent, Anica and Terry Page, met Siru Laine, a member of the Reykjavik organising committee, while on a sightseeing trip to Halong Bay, and were persuaded by her to sign up for UK 2013.
Issues of the (Esperanto-language) daily congress bulletin/newspaper are available online:
Bulletins #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.
This was the 97th 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). Future congresses will be in (2013) Reykjavik, Iceland and (2014) Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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