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  1. 2 points
    The story of how I learned Esperanto has been told countless times before, whether on the Duolingo Esperanto learners' Facebook group or in the 'Brita Esperantisto'. However, for the uninitiated, here's the story. I was a lost, confused teenager who had no life or social skills and began to learn Esperanto due to a break up and wanting to learn a simple language. Unlike most people who were starting at the same time as me, I was always behind, struggling with my learning. However, I persevered and carried on studying, attending events from NOJEF funding to improve my skills. It became a monthly occurrence, requesting NOJEF funding and travelling to somewhere with-in Great Britain, whether England, Scotland or Wales. My level of Esperanto increased as did my social skills, confidence and life skills. This all came to a head when during a Lernu Plu, Tim Morley suggested that I come along with him to Slovakia for an international event called SES, and so, Tim Morley, Anna Langley, Ali Mechan and myself began our two day travel across Europe by car to Slovakia. I was scared, I had never left the country, it was little over a year ago that I had even left my tiny Scottish almost-village in Ayrshire to the big city of Manchester, England. I remember getting to the Euro Tunnel and being scared of the 'border police' and experiencing my ears being blocked from a pressurised environment for my first time. Arriving in France and going to a shop, where the other person couldn't speak English, the confusion of this for me and being shocked that we are driving on the 'wrong' side of the road! The crossing of countries, freely via the Schengen zone, and reaching the autobahn, speeding by at 200km/h! Even being confused by the the 'exit' sign in German, I remember saying, 'wow! All roads seem to run to this place called 'Ausfahrt'. As we arrived at our stop over point in Germany, staying at a stranger's home was apparently normal to Esperanto speakers, but to me, I was freaked out, I couldn't sleep the whole night! In the morning, we carried on our journey towards Slovakia and when we reached Czechia, I was shocked, they are in Europe, but they don't accept Euros?? There was so much to learn. SES was an emotional roller coaster, I was so struck with change, my autistic brain just couldn't cope and I wasn't being the best friend I could with everyone, maybe causing a little drama. SES was amazing though, I learnt so much, I was shocked that I could use this language I thought I'd never be able to speak. The problem with this experience was, that the journey was more valuable to me, than the actual event. It was being with friends, actually having friends, talking to people and understanding things, which, I couldn't grasp before. A few weeks prior to SES, Damon Lord, via Twitter, sent me a link to work in Toulouse in Esperanto. I thought it was cool, but I never could do it! I wasn't good enough. But after talking to my friends and experiencing SES, I thought, hey why not apply to it. So I did. I got my interview with Marion from Esperanto-Kultur-Centro de Tuluzo and I couldn't understand half of what they were saying, the internet was terrible and their computer fan was far too loud. But what did I have to loose, I worked in Tesco (What I lovingly called and still do call, Tescaĉo.) and I hated my job there. So I accepted with little to no knowledge of what I was actually signing up for. It was going to be hard for me though, it took me my whole life to make friends, and I finally had friends in Manchester, Guilherme Fians, Marco Pedroni, Adam Hall, Martin Rue and others, who were all Esperanto speakers. I was scared to give that all up. But somehow I knew, this was the right thing for me to do. Before I left however, I went to one last Lernu and little did I know, the surprise I would receive there.. It was the last day of the Lernu. I was ready to leave, Adam Hall was going to drive me back to Manchester. However, at the end, the lovely Ed Robertson, said they had one last announcement. I was confused. This never normally happens, I wonder what is up. He announces that I am going to France in a weeks. That is nice I thought, but then they pull out this bag full of French learning books. I was in awe and the top of it, they played the tear-jerking video from Ian Carter, telling me, how proud of me everyone is and how I've done so well in facing my disabilities and life. I am crying just writing about it now. I couldn't stop crying, all I thought is, I don't deserve this. I don't deserve this. It was at least £200 worth of French learning material, that all my friends secretly bought me. How they all cared about me. I couldn't deal with it. I just cried and cried and cried. Finally, I felt welcome, I felt loved, I felt as if I fit in. I knew for awhile that I was getting well known, it is a running joke, that I am the 'Fama Sammy Kennedy' (Although, I still do think it is fifama) but that was amazing. Before I left, I met the amazing James DeVoge who lives in Paris but came to Barlaston for the course. He said he would meet me in Paris to get my connection to Toulouse. I was so happy as I was travelling by train to there, due to my massive fear of flights. My life was going somewhere.. The 24th of September 2018, one year to the date, that my longest term girlfriend cheated on me, that started this catalyst of learning Esperanto, I was moving to Toulouse, I packed my suitcase full of everything I needed. I waved my brother goodbye who guested me in his house during my stay in Manchester and so I jumped on my train to London. In London my suitcase broke!! One wheel out of two down. It was only a £35 XL case from Argos and I did massively over-pack it. I arrived at St. Pancras and I got on the Eurostar to Paris. I met a lovely woman on the train, who spoke to me about how much I'll love Toulouse. When in Paris I met James and we swapped to the train station by Metro! (The first time I was ever underground!) I boarded the train to Toulouse and while I was on the train, I received an email from who I thought was going to be my landlord, stating, they weren't going to accept me! I had no clue what I was going to do. The lovely Rikardo and Jeanette (Who created Pasporta Servo) guested me until I could find a place to stay. Toulouse really was the making of me. I had to learn to survive on my own. There was no guidance, there was no support. I learned that everyone had their own life and their own stuff and I couldn't weigh them down with my own problems. I grew up learning that, I had to speak to people about my problems instead of bottling them up, but what I didn't realise was, you can't just talk about nothing but your problems to people. You'll loose friends this way. I made many friends in Toulouse, Elsa, Micheal-Boris, Greta, Flori and Emmanuelle. I became comfortable in my own skin, wearing what I felt comfortable in (Don't judge, kilts are super comfy! Haha) My greatest inspiration and buddy had to Micheal-Boris, he really is like my brother from another Mother, He is loud like me, he is like marmite like me, and he loves his food like me! We went on many adventures together, across Toulouse, we cycled across the city, across Occitanian countryside, we went hiking and we went for meals and drinks at least 2/3 times a week. I honestly love him with all my heart. And I know he loves me too. My work colleagues and I went to JES in Germany for new-years, we went by plane and I was scared, I remember being on the plane before take off, having a panic attack, this lovely kind lady sat next to me, asked if I was okay, I said I am so scared of heights, and flying and I never been on a plane before. She just spoke to me calmly and gently about what was going to happen and just about life to calm me down. Her sweet voice relaxed me so much, that I fell asleep on her!! ? Toulouse helped me learn how to have a work ethic, although I didn't do great for a lot of Toulouse, I was learning, and I feel at the end, all pistons were firing. Toulouse gave me so much experience as a person and this was due to Esperanto. Without Esperanto, I wouldn't be the person who I am today. Esperanto speakers are a very welcoming bunch, who always wanted to put me on the right path. Becoming of age via Esperanto, certainly was a unique experience, it has shaped my world view and took me from the little country boy to the internationalist that I am today. From the boy who went to his first Lernu, only knowing how to say Hello and How are you, who was scared of going into shops by himself, cried going on the train for the first time to his first Esperanto event, to the man I am today, who can easily travel via planes, can deal with whatever life throws at him and is finally happy with himself. Esperanto was there every step of the way. I was in a storm and Esperanto was my ship, but now the skies are clear and any dark clouds in the distance, I am no longer scared of but excited for the future adventures I'll encounter. ?
  2. 1 point
    Arthur Whitham (1893-1942) was born to a weaver called James William Whitham and his wife Margaret of 106 Hurtley Street, Burnley. He went on to become a socialist and an activist for the Independent Labour Party and a speaker of Esperanto, and travelled widely using the language. The planned international language Esperanto, which meant so much to him, arrived in Burnley well before the First World War. Two local people appeared in the Adresaro (Directory of Esperanto speakers) for 1906. They were Pastro (i.e. Rev.) J. Morgan Whiteman of 312 Padiham Road, and J. Simpson of 28 Keith Street. In April 1906 a Burley Esperanto Society was formed, with J.W. Hartley of 24 Lubbock Street as its secretary. That Society continued to meet through the two world wars until about 1975. In 1913 there were two separate Esperanto societies in the town, both meeting every day. The secretary of one was Miss Judson, while the other, calling itself ‘Antaǔen’ (Forwards) had T. Fernley as secretary. We must presume that Arthur Whitham learned the new language through one of the Burmley Esperanto societies. He was certainly familiar with Esperanto in 1913, because he appears as the local representative for Burnley in the Jarlibro (Year Book) of Universala Esperanto-Asocio for that year. His address then was given as 20 Hornley Street. His deputy was Herbert Hardaker of 27 St Mathews Street. It is possible to piece together some of his story, although there are gaps to be filled. It is possible that he served as a soldier in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, but there are so many men with the same name that it is difficult to be sure. He married fellow cotton weaver Annie Leeming in 1920. His international travels using Esperanto began the following year. In the summer of 1921 he visited Prague, then in Czechoslovakia, after taking part in the German Congress held in Dresden. Arthur Whitham gave several talks on his travels, not only in Burnley, but also in neighbouring Nelson. I can find no trace of his writing an account of his experiences, although he clearly spoke well. Local newspapers reported extensively on his travels, partly because he was a local ‘character’ and partly because it was so unusual at that time for a working class person to travel widely and independently. AN ESPERANTIST’S VISIT TO PRAGUE. —On Thursday the Nelson Esperanto Society were favoured with a lecture from Mr. Arthur Whitham, Burnley, on his recent visit to the 13th Universal Congress of Esperantists at Prague. Leaving Burnley in good time Mr. Whitham found it possible to visit also the National Congress of German Esperantists at Dresden, which took place several days prior to that at Prague. After the latter congress some time was spent in the northern part of Chechoslovakia (sic). In Dresden the people are still rationed for bread, coupons having to he used. Owing to the tremendous fall in the value of the mark, the lecturer and a friend were able to dine at the best hotel for 4s. (including waiter’s gratuities and all charges for the two persons)! Travelling about in the company of people of almost every nationality he found, as he experienced on previous occasions, that Esperanto quite vindicated its claim to be presentday practical medium both for pleasure and business. One cannot see 2,500 people of over 40 different tongues meeting together in unity and understanding and remain a sceptic as to the language which enables them to do it. Returning alone through Germany, Mr. Whitham said he experienced nothing but kindness everywhere. Glowing tribute was paid to the services rendered by the delegates of the Universal Esperanto Association who met the visitors and conducted them from the station to the hotel, acting as interpreters where Esperanto was not understood, and in many ways removing difficulties usually encountered. Seeing a card in shop window "English spoken here,” Mr. Whitham essayed a joke. Entering the shop he addressed the attendant in broad Lancashire dialect. "Wheer is that mon as can talk English” (or some such phrase). ”He is here," replied the man, ”and I perceive that you are from Lancashire.” The joke having rnlssed fire, the visitor learned that the attendant formerly lived in Blackpool. The lecture was delivered entirely in Esperanto, and was thoroughly enjoyed the members of the local society. (Nelson Leader - Friday 14 October 1921) We know that Arthur Whitham stayed with a couple Mr and Mrs Willi Weisskopf of Saaz, a small village now in Austria. A little over a year later, Arthur Whitham gave a similar talk in Nelson, which also diligently reported. THE CONDITIONS IN CENTRAL EUROPE. • LECTURE AT NELSON On Tuesday evening Mr. Arthur Whitham, of Burnley, gave a very interesting lecture, in Esperanto, to the members of the Nelson Esperanto Society, in the Co-operative Room, Chapel House Road. Mr. Whitham gave a varied picture, of the condition of the people in Central Europe, as seen by him last summer, during his tour of three months duration. In Vienna, where he spent six weeks, the lecturer found beggars in every street, the condition the people being most pitiable. Notwithstanding their extreme poverty, the mass of the people by virtue of extreme care with their attire contrive to keep up appearance of respectability. Many Austrians, of whose good nature and fine qualities Mr. Whitham spoke with deep appreciation, told him that had it not been for the generous help of English and American relief societies, they must inevitably have died in thousands. The country is poor indeed, but its people are rich in the qualities which go to make up a fine manhood. Regarding Esperanto and its utility for travellers, Mr. Whitham was more enthusiastic than ever, if that is possible. It is often said that English is known everywhere, but this is not true. However serviceable English may be on the beaten track, it is not compared with Esperanto in the small countries of Central Europe, in Northern Bohemia, for instance. Esperanto is much more serviceable than English. In Czechoslovakia the three or four races which make up the population are quite hostile to the use each other's language, and Esperanto is making great headway. Anyone with a good knowledge of Esperanto who will take the trouble to write to the delegate of the Universal Esperanto Association in the various places he intends to visit will be assured of adequate help and a multitude of kindnesses irrespective of the nationality of the persons concerned. Mr. Whitham intends to visit the Esperanto Congress at Nuremburg next August. (Nelson Leader - Friday 22 December 1922) After some years active in the neutral Esperanto organisation, Arthur Whitham joined Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda (World Non-national Association). SAT was founded in 1921 by Eugène Lanti (pseudonym of Eugène Adam) and others as an organisation of the workers' Esperanto movement. In view of his political views, it is clear that Whitham saw his home as a member of SAT. The Esperanto press also reported on his visit to Pilzeň (Pilsen) Kara gasto de L.L.E. (=Laborista Ligo Esperantista en Pilzeň estis dum kelkaj tagoj S-o Arthur Whitham el Burnley (Anglujo), kiu per siaj rakontoj entuziasmigis la membrojn al la nova laboro. (La Progreso, 1. July 1922) In English : A dear guest of the WorkersEsperanto League in Pilzeň for a few days was Mr Arthur Whitham from Burnley (England), who, by his stories enthused the members to new work. In 1923 Whitham joined the 3rd SAT Congress in Germany, but I can find no evidence that he was present there. I cannot find any evidence of Arthur Whitham travelling abroad in 1923 and 1924, but we do know that in 1925 he travelled alone overland to the Soviet Union. One cannot exaggerate the interest in and suspicion about the Soviet Union in the United Kingdom at that time. UNDER SOVIET RULE. Burnley Man's Experiences in Russia. BOROUGH MEMBER'S HELP. Mr. Arthur Whitham, of 20, Hornby-street, Burnley, who is well known in Burnley Trade Union and Socialist circles, has this week returned from an adventurous and extremely interesting visit he has paid to Russia. Mr. Whitham, vho was in Russia from the first week in August, went entirely "on his own for the purpose of studying conditions at first hand, and he has come back able to give remarkable accounts of political, industrial and social conditions under the Soviet system. Many of the difficulties attending any attempt to enter Russia - unless one goes as a "privileged person" were smoothed away by Mr. Whitham being able to refer the representatives of the Soviet in London to Mr. Arthur Henderson, the Borough Member. One of the difficulties is that three months' notice is required for any "unprivileged" person wishing to visit Russia; but Mr. Whitham, with the assistance of Mr. Henderson, was able to persuade the Russian Consul-General in London that this was unnecessary in his case. Mr. Whitham states that after the frontier difficulties were over he had nothing but kindness from the representatives of the Communist Party. "Wherever I went," Mr. Whitham told a "Burnley News” representative last night, "they did their best to help me, whether I was visiting the villages, or the prisons, or the factories and workshops. It was always the same. Doors were thrown wide open, and always the greeting was, 'What can we do for you, comrade?' They did not know I was coming, and therefore it couldn't be a case of things being prepared for one." Mr.Whitham addressed meetings in various places, and found the Russian workers everywhere eager to learn about political conditions in England and especially about the prospects of Communist revolution in this country. Mr. Whitham says he had to tell them plainly that their eager expectations in this direction were not warranted in any sense by the facts, and described vividly the surprise of the Russian workers at the apparent lethargy the "proletariat" of this country on the question of getting rid of their "chains". Mr. Whitham has brought back examples of Soviet posters (advertising the advantages of dealing with the Co-operative shops in Russia), and some interesting photographs. But much of the literature he had collected was confiscated when he entered Poland on his return journey. Mr. Whitham has, as stated, a great deal that is interesting to say about various aspects of the Soviet regime in Russia, and in next Wednesday's, issue of the "Burnley News" a full account of his observations and comments will be given. (Burnley News, Saturday 12 September 1925) The Burnley News even printed a short text in the planned language, with a few errors. LA OFICIALA LINGVO D£ LABORO. La Sinkikata Kongreso en Scarborough akceptiis rezolucion de la Amalgamated Engineering Union, kiu instruis la Generalan Konsilantaron adopti Esperauton kiel la oficialan. internacian lingvon. Oni bonvenigis delegitojn el Kanado, Usono, Rusujo kaj La Sindikata Kongreso en Scarborough Meksikio. Translation -The Trades Union Congress at Scarborough accepted. a resolution from the Amalgamated Engineering Union, instructing the General Council to adopt Esperanto as the official international language. Delegates from Canada, the United States, Russia and Mexico were enthusiastically welcomed. ln view of the above resolution it is interesting to note that Mr. Arthur Whitham in his interview with the "Burnley News" on Wednesday makes mention that Esperanto enabled him to converse freely with people on the Continent during his three months tour, from which he has just returned. One wonders why children at school and at college are allowed to rack their brains learning several languages, when it would be much easier to teach .them a common language. In the new movements that are taking place industrially and politically all over the world, it is interesting to note that the workers' organisations are realising "the handicap of language and are endeavouring to overcome it. (Burnley News, Saturday 19 September 1925) "RUSSIA - MY IMPRESSIONS" No one should miss the opportunity of hearing a lecture on Russia first hand. On Thursday, October 1st, at 7-30. p.m., Mr. Arthur Whitham will speak on Russia in a lecture entitled. "Russia: My Impressions." Mr. Whitham's many friends need no reminding that his "lectures" are always entertaining and interesting. More than one quarterly meeting of members of the Burnley Weavers' Association has been given an added interest when Mr. Whitham has risen to lead the debate. l am looking forward to the lecture myself very much. Lectures on Russia have been given in Burnley before many times—but usually the lecturer's interpreter has taken the "life" out of the subject. Mr. Whitham will give us Russia in plain, homely, Lancashire phraseology. (Burnley News - 19 September 1925) Sennaciulo, the periodical of the lefty-wing movement SAT published an article on 24 September 1925, entitled ”Kelkaj rezultoj de laboristaj ekskursoj en Sovet-Unio” (Some results of workers’ trips to the Soviet Union) mentioning Whitham, but mis-spelled his name as Witham. In 1926 Arthur Whitham joined the SAT Congress in Leningrad as participant number 198. Again he extended his visit in order to experience more of life in the Soviet Union. Again the Burnley News saw his experiences as newsworthy, dedicating almost a whole page to his travels, and printing a photo of a group of men and women cotton workers in Ivanovo, Mr. Whitham himself being seated among the group. This visit took place just after the General Strike of May 1926. MORE LIGHT ON RUSSIA, MR ARTHUR WHITHAM'S SECOND VISIT A Burnley man, Mr Arthur Whitham, of Reed Street, Burnley Wood, well known in connection with the local Socialist movement, and also a stalwart of Esperanto has recently paid a second visit to Soviet Russia, and has brought back with him interesting news of the present situation there, along with some souvenirs and curiosities which help to throw light on the trend of affairs under the successors of Lenin. It may be remembered that Mr. Whitham, alone and unaided, so to speak, by any high official recommendation was able to reach the interior of Russia last year, and, once inside, succeeded in striking up acquaintance with many influential representatives of the Soviet regime, and brought home much interesting news of the institutions and practices set up under the Communist control. We published at the time a full account of his impressions. .. An Approved Visitor, Mr Whitham left Burnley on another visit to Russia late in July this year, and returned towards the end of October. He has already given some account of his new experiences and observations in the Soviet Republic to Burnley Esperantists, and also this week to members of the Harle Syke Branch of the I.L.P. He has much to tell which is of considerable interest in present circumstances, and to "Burnley News" representative on Thursday he gave details of his journey and of his impressions ... Mr Whitham's primary object was to attend an International Socialist Congress, which was held at Leningrad (the former St. Petersburg). This was attended by representatives of about a score of nations, including most of the European peoples, Chinese, Japanese, and other Asiatic races were also represented. There were 35 delegates in all from England. Mr. Whitham's visit last year gave him a special status at the Congress. He was elected one of the vice-presidents, and in that capacity sat with other officers on the "praesidium" of the hall where the Congress met (this was in the former Russian "House of Commons" — the Duma building of the old regime. The sessions of the Congress occupied a week, and then Mr. Whitham spent nearly two months looking at things Russian in the big towns and the little villages. Mr. Whitham mentions that textile wages, which, as mentioned in the accounts of his last year's vsiit, are on a much lower level than in England, have been going up. A rise in the cost of living accompanies the wages increase, nevertheless, and Mr. Whitham repeats what he ponted out last year - that the work done for the wages is much less than in this country, the Russian operatives seldom having more than two looms He speaks again also, with some admiration, of the system of providing cheap meals for the mill workers in kitchens at the mills. "I had a good three-course dinner at one of them for ninepence!" Mr. Whitham said. Nevertheless, the higher quality of British goods appears to be one of the vivid impressions Mr. Whitham brings back with him. What he saw of the textile products, not merely of the Russian worker, but of the continental operative generally, led him to this somewhat emphatic conclusion. BURNLEY MACHINERY. "There is still a big housing problem," Mr. Whitham went on, “and the population is growing at a great rate, especially in the big towns. There is an unemployed problem. But it isn't a big one; the officials of the textile unions told me their unemployed would all be working within a month." Mr. Whitham mentions that in one factory he noticed an old tape machine bearing the name of a Burnley firm—Messrs. Butterworth and Dickinson. In other places he saw machinery which had come from Lancashire frms, such Messrs. Tweedale and Smalley. as the result of the placing of Soviet orders in this country a year or more ago. Mr. Whitham spent an interesting time at Ivanovo, a town known among the Russians as "Red Manchester."... Mr. Whitham brings back a very positive conviction that there is no directly political motive behind the big drafts of Russian money which have come to this country in aid of British miners during the coal trouble. He gave public addresses – one of them in a town hall – on the British miners’ situation in the coal struggle, and on working-class conditions generally in the country. ... He speaks again also, with some admiration, of the system of providing cheap meals for the mill workers in kitchens at the mills. "I had a good three-course dinner at one of them for ninepence!" Mr. Whitham said. Nevertheless, the higher quality of British goods appears to be one of the vivid impressions Mr. Whitham brings back with him. What he saw of the textile products, not merely of the Russian worker, but of the continental operative generally led him to this somewhat emphatic conclusion. ... And I have no doubt whatever,” Mr. Whitham stated, "from what I saw of the propaganda on the matter, that the millions of money sent to the miners of the country has come from the Russian workers themselves. After one of my addresses, they decided each to give fourth of a day's pay, and they gave their money there and elsewhere undoubtedly because the British miners are workers like themselves, and because they believed they were in a bad way. There is genuine sympathy for the workers of every country. It is probably true that the money has been given, also, in the idea that it would help the prolongation of the strike; but when I asked if they were hoping for a revolution in this country, they asked if I imagined they were foolish to think a revolution could be produced with the money they were giving. There was enthusiasm everywhere for the cause of the British miners." Mr. Whitham gives the impression that he saw and heard little to justify the suggestion that recent differences among the leaders of the Communist party constitute a menace to the security of the present Soviet regime. There are troubles in the party, he says, but he thinks the responsible leaders are strong enough to ward off any danger to the Soviet political order as it stands. He does not think there is any special sympathy, politically speaking, between the Soviet and the republican regime in Germany. ... Among his interesting personal experiences Mr. Whitham mentions a visit to a barracks at Smolensk. He was introduced to the Commandant by a soldier-Esperantist with whom he had become friendly at the Congress. There was special parade of the troops, and Mr. Whitham addressed them. He was made honorary Officer of a Cavalry regiment, and presented with the regimental shoulder badge. The Burnley man also paid visits to schools and prisons. He spoke to children at the schools, and found them well up in geography. The teachers are capable but ill-paid. At the prisons he found an undue tendency to leniency of treatment, resulting in some offenders appearing again and again as prisoners without detriment to their cheerfulness. (Burnley News - Saturday 20 November 1926) Arthur Whitham was not alone in Burnley in having left-wing and Esperanto leanings. Listed in the 1927 Jarlibro (Yearbook) of Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda (Worldwide Non-Nationalist Association) alongside him is K-do (Comrade) Herbert Ward, also a weaver, of 8 Brockenhust Street. In the 1928 Yearbook they are joined by A.C. Bland of 61 Williams Street. Esperanto was relatively strong in the town. In 1928 no less than thirteen people from Burnley attended the Universala Kongreso held in Belgium. They were: F-ino (=Miss) Annie Lancaster, oficistino (=office worker), F-ino (=Miss) Annie Hurley, F-ino (=Miss) Ada Greenwood, F-ino (=Miss) Emile Poppleton, F-ino (=Miss) Elizabeth Shackleton, oficistino (=office worker), S-ro (=Mr) William Foulds, oficisto, (=office worker), S-ino Elizabeth Foulds, S-ro (=Mr) Mason Stuttard, teksisto, S-ino Mason Stuttard, F-ino (=Miss) Dora Bowker, teksistino, S-ro (=Mr) Thomas Bond, teksisto, S-ro (=Mr) Jack Shuttleworth, teksisto, F-ino (=Miss) Susan Alice Hartley, teksistino. The last four names, as well as Mason Stuttard, all declared themselves to be weavers. Mason Stuttard (1903-1983) wrote a popular Esperanto textbook which had five separate editions, and he wrote stories and poetry in the language. A talented speaker of several languages, he did not return home to UK after the Second World War, but remained in Yugoslavia for many years as Tito's personal English interpreter.
  3. 1 point
    Occasionally one comes across critics of Esperanto who suggest that the language can only be used in conferences arranged for that purpose. In fact most of my use of Esperanto on my travels over the years has been in private settings away from conference centres and the like. I am not against structured meetings, but I have a lot of experience of, for example, sleeping on the floor of a farmhouse in Croatia or having coffee and cakes in the garden of a German family. During 2019, I was lucky enough to visit Japan twice. In January, I went alone to discuss with the city council in Himeji practical aspects of the twinning of "our" castle in Conwy with their castle. In October I travelled there again, this time with my wife Pat and four colleagues to sign an agreement between these two noble castles, both recognized by UNESCO as being important to World Heritage. During my first visit I used English for two days, with the help of an interpreter, and subsequently only Esperanto for five days. I had the pleasure of meeting friendly Esperantists. I was invited to lecture about Wales twice - first in Himeji, then in Kobe. These good-natured people spent a lot of time with me, explaining a lot to me, especially about Japanese food and religious practices. Local Esperantists guided me on an excursion to Nara, the former capital of Japan. I also visited Kobe where I was present at the start of a murder trial. I understood what was happening, thanks to Nakamiti Tamihiro who was sitting next to me, whispering translations. Then he sent me the verdict of the judge in that case. Mrs Yosida Nobuko taught me the Japanese tea ceremony with patience. It's dangerous to mention names, because people can easily be left out, but I am happy to thank Tada Ryuji and Tukamoto Takesi who did so much for me in Himeji and Isogai Naotake in Kobe. Takatoshi Somekawa was kind enough to accompany me to the airport on my last day. Before the tea ceremony. A few months after my return home I went to see a doctor about an unusual back pain. Finally, a serious illness was diagnosed. Due to the uncertainty, I contacted my Japanese friends to explain that my planned return in October 2019 had become really uncertain. A little later I received a package from Japan with greetings from members of the Harima Esperanto Society, based in Himeji. Knowing that I was not in good health, they sent me an unusual and touching gift. Senbazuru is a group of thousand origami paper cranes joined together by string. An ancient Japanese legend promises that whoever folds a thousand origami cranes will receive a gift from the gods (if I understand correctly). In Japan, the crane was considered a mystical animal believed to live for a thousand years. Because of this, it has become a symbol of good luck and long life. The Esperantists in Himeji worked together in making this multi-coloured symbol of their good wishes. Finally, with the permission of my oncologist (needed, so that I could get insurance), I decided that I would be able to visit Japan again in October 2019 to attend the formal signing of the agreement for the twinning of the castles. My wife and I made the trip to Japan, and again local Esperantists welcomed us and made every effort to make us feel at home. Ritual cleaning of hands. We had a green tea with local Esperanto speakers during a visit to an azuki bean museum in Himeji. Yes, there is an azuki bean museum in Himeji dedicated to a type of bean! We also ate cakes made from adzuki beans, also called azuki or aduki. There is only one Esperanto word: azukio. Probably the most striking part of our stay in Japan was a visit to the Oomoto Centre. By bus 23 Esperantists from the area around Himeji travelled to Kameoka together. On the way, we visited the most sumptuous, most luxurious toilets I have ever seen. I have never previously seen chandeliers in public toilets near a motorway! The Oomoto bus. Arriving at the Oomoto building, we met a young woman called Unika, a board member of the youth organisation TEJO from Korea, and a young Spanish man called Alejandro. There we were able to attend a ceremony of a religion or sect that originates from Shinto, but emphasizes that there is only one God. I thank Toshiomi Okuwaki for responding to my questions. We also watched a Noh drama. This is the oldest Japanese form of theatre combining music, dance, and acting. Little "happens" in Noh drama, and the overall effect is of a metaphor. Informed and educated Japanese spectators know the story's plot very well, so what they appreciate are the symbols and subtle allusions to Japanese cultural history contained in the words and movements. Well, Pat and I certainly couldn't understand the whole thing, but I could appreciate the unusual music and the graceful dancing. With friends, outside some luxurious toilets! Esperanto has definitely helped me get to know a country with culture and traditions that were completely new to me.
  4. 1 point
    la Nacia Eisteddfod (Ejstedvodo*) kiu okazas dum la unua semajno de aŭgusto ĉiun jaron estas festo de la kulturo kaj lingvo en Kimrio. La festivalo vojaĝas de loko al loko, alternante inter norda kaj suda Kimrio, allogante ĉirkaŭ 150.000 vizitantojn kaj pli ol 250 vendejojn kaj budojn. Inter ili estas librovendejoj kaj eldonistoj. La festivalo de 2019 okazissur kampoj apud urbeto Llanrwst, nelonge for de mia hejmo. Mi mem provas ĉeesti ĉiun festivalon en la nordo. Ekzistas miloj kiuj partoprenas ĉiujare, tendumante apude. Oni povas trovi spurojn de la festivalo jam en 1176, sed la moderna historio de la evento vere datumas de 1861. La festivalo okazis ĉiujare, krom 1914, kiam la eksplodo de la unua mondmilito devigis organizantojn prokrasti dum unu jaro. Tradicie konkurso-bazita festivalo, altirante pli ol 6.000 konkurantojn ĉiun jaron, la festivalo disvolviĝis kaj evoluis dum la lastaj jaroj, kaj dum la konkursoj estas la centra fokuso de la semajno, la Maes (kampo) mem kreskis kaj disvolviĝis en viglan festivalon, kun centoj da eventoj kaj agadoj por la tuta familio. Ekzemple estas granda tendo pri scienco kun aktivecoj kimralingvaj. La plej multaj ĉefaj verkistoj, muzikistoj, kantistoj kaj poetoj de Kimrio konkuris iam ĉe la Eisteddfod, kaj multaj prezentistoj aperis sur nacia scenejo la unuan fojon dum la festivalo. La Eisteddfod estas la natura montrofenestro en Kimrio por muziko, danco, vidaj artoj, literaturo, kaj multo pli. Ĝi celas esti inkluziva kaj bonveniga festivalo, kiu allogas milojn da gelernantoj de la kimra lingvo kaj tiujn, kiuj ne parolas la lingvon ĉiujare. Portebla tradukaj servo (al la angla) estas havebla kaj skribaj dulingvaj informoj haveblas en kelkaj lokoj. Kvankam la kimra restas la ĉefa uzata lingvo. La semajno de la Eisteddfod estas la kulmino de dujara komunuma projekto, kunigante homojn de ĉiuj aĝoj kaj fonoj el malsama parto de Kimrio ĉiujare. Mi mem havis la honoron prezidi lokan komitaton kiu kolektis monon por la festivalo ek de januaro 2018 pere de koncertoj, kafo-matenoj, ekskursoj k.t.p. Tiuj aranĝoj mem riĉigis la socian kaj kulturan vivon de nia komunumo. Nu, en 2019, ni eble ne havis la veteron, kiun ni esperis, ĉar pluvis foje, kaj estis koto sur la festivalaj kampoj fine de la semajno, sed io tute magia okazis denove. *Jen termino kreita de Reto Rossetti antaǔ pli ol 70 jaroj. Vidu : La Kimraj Artofestoj en Somera Universitato: Malmo 1948. PIV ne enhavas la vorton « ejstedvodo », sed mi ja aǔdis ĝin, interalie de bretonaj esperantistoj. La fotojn faris mia filino Elinor Chapman. 1. Malgraŭ pluvo, solkantistino prezentas programon al malgranda spektantaro meze de kampo. 2. Virvoĉa koruso Cor Meibion Maelgwn konkursas en la centra pavilono.
  5. 1 point
    3 aferoj mi neniam forgesos pri la kunkongreso! 1.) la blankaj klifoj de dovero. Kiel brito, ni ĉiam aŭdas pri la klifoj kiam ni estas infanoj, ke la romanoj vidis ĝin ĉe Francujo (aŭ je tiu tempo Gaŭlujo) kaj komencis invadi. Sed mi neniam imagus ke ili estas tiom bela. Mi piediris tra ĝi kun nova amikino Penny kaj tiom bela. Mi loĝis en ĉemara vilaĝo en Skotujo kaj la odoro de la maro memoris min pri mia infaneco. 2.) La prelegoj de Bertilo. Dum mia unua brita kongreso, laŭ mi la prelegoj ne estis tiom interesa sed ĉi jare! Ŭaŭ. Du prelegoj de Berio kaj kompreneble pri gramatiko. Mi lernis multe pri la historio de Esperantaj vortoj kaj estas tre interesa por lerni ke nian lingvon evoluis kaj montras ke ĝi vere estas vera lingvo. 3.) la novaj (kaj malnovaj) geamikoj! Kiam ni alvenis (kaj kompreneble kiel skoto, mi alvenis kilte) multaj homoj venis al mi kaj diris ah ! La fama Sammy Kennedy. Honeste, mi ne scias kial mi estas fama sed almenaŭ mi ne estas fifama (aŭ eble mi ja estas kaj ne scias haha) sed estas tre bona vidi Tim Owen kaj Claire Hunter denove, mi tre respektas ilijn pro ĉiuj agoj de brita Esperantujo ! Ankaŭ por vidi Ed Robertson denove, mia skota amiko ! Kaj mi vidis James DeVoge tre bonkora amiko kiu helpis min trairi parison kiam mi transloĝiĝis al tuluzo. Sed ankaŭ estas la novaj amikoj, kiel Penny Bryant kaj Elis Reed. Ili estas tre bonaj homoj kaj ankaŭ Elis ŝoforis min al Kambriĝo por vidi mian amikon Tim Morley. Mi tre ĝuis mian duan britan kongreson kaj longe vivu ĝin! Mi certe iros al la venonta!
  6. 1 point
    En antaŭa numero de Esperanto en Skotlando mi uzis la vorton “kabeiĝis”, sen klarigi al la legantoj kion ĝi signifas. Amiko retpoŝtis al mi kaj plendis: “se vi uzas vortojn kiel kabeiĝi, mi kabeiĝos”. Mi pardonpetas al nia amiko pro mia uzo de tiu vorto senaverte, kaj por tiuj kiuj ne estas familiaraj kun Kabe, kaj la verboj “kabei” aŭ “kabeiĝi” kreitaj “honore” al li, mi volas skizi ĉi tie la atingaĵojn de Kabe, kaj laŭ mia eblo, la originon de la vortoj, kiuj aludas al lia ŝajne subita forlaso de la Esperanto-movado en 1911, kaj signifas do “fari kiel Kabe”. Kazimierz Bein (1872-1959) Kazimierz Bein (lia pseŭdonimo, Kabe, venis de la komencaj literoj de liaj nomoj) naskiĝis en 1872 en la urbeto Sierzno apud Lodz en la nuna Pollando, tiam parto de la carisma Rusa Imperio. Lia patro Aleksander en 1863 partoprenis la malsukcesan Januaran Insurekcion por la sendependiĝo de Pollando. Kazimierz kiel studento en 1891 ankaŭ aktivis en la kontraŭcarisma movado. Pro sia konspirado, la juna Bein, same kiel lia patro, estis arestita, kaj kiel puno estis ekzilita al Civinsk, apud Ekaterinburg en Ruslando mem, kien ankaŭ ekziliĝis la patro Aleksander preskaŭ 30 jarojn antaŭe. (Kazimierz Bein denove en 1944 estis aktivonta en la Varsovia Insurekcio kontraŭ la nazia armeo.) Post la punrestado, Kazimierz decidis resti en la proksima urbo Kazan’, kaj studi en la universitato tie. Diplomiĝinte pri okulkuracado, li revenis en 1900 al Varsovio kaj ekposedis postenon en la medicina instituto pri tiu fako. En 1903 li esperantistiĝis, sed tio ne estis lia unua sperto pri Esperanto. En 1887, kiel lernejano, li jam aŭdis pri la lingvo, kiam kolego lia aĉetis la unuan lernolibron. Kune, Bein kaj la aliaj knaboj mokis la lingvon, kaj precipe kelkajn sufiksojn kiujn ili trovis maldecaj! Kabe poste diris ke li fakte trovis la versaĵojn en la libro “ĉarmaj”, kaj li eĉ “en sonĝo princinon vidis”! (Aludo al la teksto de unu el la poemoj de Zamenhof, traduko de Heinrich Heine.) Ĉiaokaze li kiel knabo ne plu interesiĝis pri la lingvo. Tamen 16 jarojn poste li ree interesiĝis kaj demandis al si pri kiu estas tiu D-ro Zamenhof, okulisto en Varsovio kiel li, kiu ekis lingvon. Li ricevis de amiko kelke da materialo, kaj post pluraj horoj da studado, li libere komprenis ĉiajn esperantajn tekstojn, sen helpo de vortaro, eĉ. Tiel komenciĝis 7 jaroj da forta kaj sindona laborego por Esperanto. Kabe tradukis literaturaĵojn el pluraj lingvoj kaj verkis kaj faris aliajn kontribuojn al la Esperanto-movado dum eble 4-5 horoj ĉiutage, kaj lia lasta granda verko estis la Vortaro de Esperanto, en kiu unuafoje ĉiu esperanta vorto estis difinita en Esperanto, tiel formiĝanta la bazon por la pli postaj Plena Vortaro kaj Plena Ilustrita Vortaro. Kabe ĉiam estis sia propra persono kun propraj sintenoj kaj ideoj. Kontraŭ la harfendemo kaj pezaj stilaj konsiloj de Louis de Beaufront, la estonta idisto kiu tiam ludis gravan rolon kiel lingva konsilanto en la Esperanto-movado, Kabe instinkte evitis nenecesajn afiksojn kaj kunmetitajn formojn. Pli poste, tia sama sinteno pri “neceso kaj sufiĉo” estos konscie proponata de Rene de Saussure, kaj entuziasme aprobata de la esperantistaro, liberiĝinta post 1907 desub la morta mano de la stila influo de de Beaufront. Bein plejparte ne verkis originalaĵojn, pro sia konvinko ke la lingvo multe pli profitas el la traduklaboro, ĉar per tio la tradukanto ne povas eviti malfacilaĵojn, kaj devas trovi por ili la plej taugan esprimmanieron. Kabe opiniis ke “por havi bonan stilon, nepre estas necese koni minimume tri diversajn lingvojn, al si malparencajn”, kaj ke por la simpleco de sia stilo li dankis al sia rusa instruisto, kiu ne toleris du akcesorajn frazojn sinsekve. Kabe ankaŭ ne ĝoje toleris idiotojn. Laciĝante pri la ĉiama propagandado ke tiu aŭ alia grupo de homoj “devus lerni Esperanton” por solvi la problemojn de la mondo, kiun li aŭdis de personoj kiuj mem ne bone regas Esperanton, li rebatis en 1906 “Esperanton plej necese devas lerni la Esperantistoj mem!” Nuntempe mi supozas, ke tiajn homojn kiujn li kritikis ni hodiaŭ nomus “fluŝaj” (flua + fuŝa = fluŝa), sed finfine Esperanto estas komunikilo, ne konkurso. Perfektemo, jes; eĉ aroganto, foje, jes, absolute; sed ofte ankaŭ honesta realismo; tiaj estis liaj trajtoj. Vortaro de Esperanto: Apogeo de la verkaro de Kabe En 1911, Kazimierz Bein forlasis la E-movadon. Li simple malaperis de la publika okulo. Lia foresto apenaŭ estis menciata en la esperanta gazetaro. En sekvantaj jardekoj lia rezigno, pro manko de informo, akiris enigman karakteron. En poemo de Kalman Kalocsay, estis demandite “Kia mister-malica forto / Vin povis preni de ni rabe?” (“Rimportretoj”, 1931). Li apenaŭ povis scii, car tute mankis detaloj. En la pionira tempo kun la tiamaj grandiozaj esperoj estis nekompreneble, ke iu tiel grava gvidanta personaĵo simple senaverte foriru. Ĝi estis taksata preskaŭ kiel perfido, kaj en la tiama etoso oni simple ne diskutis tiajn aferojn, kaj precipe ne publike. En la verkoj “Historio de la Lingvo Esperanto” (1927) kaj “Vivo de Zamenhof” (1920) de Edmond Privat, la fakto ke Kabe rezignis pri la E- movado simple ne aperas, malgraŭ lia alta rango en la organizo (vicprezidanto de la Lingva Komitato) kaj lia eminento en la lingvo. Pli poste, Marjorie Boulton en sia biografio de Zamenhof (“Zamenhof: Creator of Esperanto”, 1960) mencietas la kontribuon de Bein, sed brosas sub la tapiŝon iajn pravigojn aŭ kialojn rezigni kiel “verŝajne ... privataj”. Do, kial Kabe kabeis? Unu ŝlosilo al pli bona kompreno de la fono malantaŭ tiu evento estas eble trovebla en intervjuo kun li kiun faris en 1931 Jean Forge (pseŭdonimo de la verkisto Jan Fethke). Kabe en 1931 ne bedaŭris sian rezignon. Li diris “Mi ne estas plu Esperantisto ... eĉ mi havas ideojn tute nefavorajn al Esperanto”. Sed pri ĝuste kiuj tiuj nefavoraj ideoj estis, oni devas legi inter la linioj, ĉar Fethke ne volonte enlasas nin en sian konfidencon, montrante la tiaman nervozecon pri ia informo potenciale nefavora al la lingvo. Fethke diras, ke el la duhora diskutado pri lingvaj demandoj, kiu zumis en la oreloj post la intervjuo, li “bedaŭrinde ne povas ... citi”. Kia domaĝo por la nunaj historiistoj! Buŝumetoj tamen eskapas: “Esperanto ne progresas ... ili restas la samaj, kvazaŭ mi forlasus hieraŭ Esperanton; nenio ŝanĝiĝis, ili parolas, paroladas, paroladas ĉiam la samon, ĉiam la samon ... la esperantistoj, jes ili havas multajn mankojn”. Kaj reen al la muelado de la temo de 1906: “antaŭ ĉio, ili ne scias sian lingvon!” Kaj, pli hereze, la sinteno kiun Fethke resumas kiel sekve: “lam venos, li pensas, nova geniulo, kiu kreos la veran solvon de la lingvo-problemo. Esperanto ja ne estas tiu ĉi solvo. Eble ĝi ... venos baldaŭ, eble post 100 jaroj”. Bedaŭrinde mankas detaloj pri ia eventuala pravigo en la vortoj de Kabe mem. Ĉu, laŭ la opinio de Kabe, la lingvo mem kulpas pri la “malprogreso” de Esperanto? Kabe certe iam volis reformi Esperanton. En skizo pri Esperanto-literaturo en 1956, Vlastimil Novobilsky citas el iuj rememoroj de Kabe kies fonto tamen evitis nian esploradon: “Mi venis al la firma konkludo, ke diversaj reformoj estas neeviteblaj en Esperanto kaj mi prezentis miajn proponojn al la Doktoro. Kun miro mi konstatis, ke li ne estas ravita kaj ke li ne volas akcepti ilin. ‘Terura konservativulo’, pensis mi, ‘mine plu diskutos kun li pri la reformoj; baldaŭ li komprenos sian eraron, kaj bedaŭros, ke li ne adoptis pli frue miajn proponojn’.” Novobilsky diras “ĉi tiuj vortoj [de Kabe] estis skribitaj en la jaro 1909”. Do, ĉu Kabe rezignis pri Esperanto pro sia reformemo? Laŭ la artikolo de Novobilsky, tio estas la implico. Miaopinie tio eble ne estis la sola aŭ unua afero en lia menso. En la rememoroj cititaj de Novobilsky, Kabe diras, parolante pri tiu okazaĵo kiam li proponis reformojn al Zamenhof, ke li faris tion “tradukinte du rakontetojn”. Oni povas do supozi ke tiu okazaĵo estis pasinta okazaĵo jam en 1905-6, post liaj tradukoj de “La fundo de l’ mizero” (1904) kaj “La interrompita kanto” (1905), kaj antaŭ “Pola Antologio” (1906). Ne nepre temas do pri aktuala opinio de 1909, do eble reformo ne estis la plej aktuala disputtemo por Kabe kiam li forlasis la movadon en 1911. Dermod Quirke aldone opinias pri la teksto ke “Liaj komentoj en 1909 estis ŝercaj, kaj certe la vortelekto sugestas sinmokon, sed humuro estas ĉiam riska afero en Esperanto”. Novobilsky ankaŭ aludas al eblaj personaj malpaciĝoj kun Grabowski kaj Zakrzewski, kaj tio estis verŝajne parto de la historio. Sed ankaŭ eble malkonsentoj kun Zamenhof, kvankam tiu iomete tabueta sugesto ne estas eksplicite menciita de Fethke en la intervjuo de 1931. Tamen Kabe certe plendis tiam, ke por Zamenhof “la tuta lingvo por li estis nur rimedo ... ĉiam estis grava nur la ideo, tiu lia homaranismo, ĉion alian li toleris, car li devis”. Ŝajnas ke Kabe eble ne dividis la religia-filozofiajn antaŭecojn de Zamenhof, kiuj en 1911 pli kaj pli surfaciĝis en la iomete internen-rigardanta etoso tuj post la Ido-skismo. Kaj Kabe silentis ĉar li ne volis damaĝi la ideon de internacia lingvo. Do, la kialoj de Kabe por la rezigno estis kompleksaj, kaj verŝajne ill enhavis ĉiujn jam menciitajn aspektojn: la reformemo, la malpacienco kun la (liaopinie) malalta intelekta nivelo kaj propagandaj pretendoj, kaj fine malentuziasmo por la persona ideologio de Zamenhof. Kabe fariĝis mistero car ni tiam ne pretis priparoli la malfacilajn temojn kiujn lia rezigno levis. Ni povas bedaŭri la mankon de liaj honestaj konsiloj dum tiu sekvanta grava periodo, sed Kabe ankaŭ volis dediĉi sian vivon al kuracado, kaj ne al Esperanto. Kiu rajtas plendi pri tio? Tamen, la Esperanto-kariero de Kabe havas ankoraŭ unu plian ĉapitron. En 1956, li malkabeis! Kaj la homo kiu revenis al la movado estis eble pli humila. Intertempe, la Esperanto-movado ankaŭ ŝanĝiĝis dum tiuj 45 jaroj de lia memekzilo. Ŝajne plaĉis al Kabe la nova emfazo. Esperanto plenaĝiĝis kaj funkciis. Komenciĝis malaperi la naiva finvenkismo de la fruaj jaroj. Ĝi provizis praktikajn eblecojn por internaciaj amikecaj rilatoj, ege bezonataj dum tiuj jaroj de la malvarma milito. Precipe tian agadon Kabe aprobis kaj kuraĝigis. Bedaŭrinde Kabe ne postvivis sufiĉe longe por vidi la Jubilean UK de 1959 en Varsovio, kiun li ege sopiris ĉeesti. Ĉi-jare estas la 130a datreveno de la naskiĝo de Kabe. Eble li meritas esti pli ol enigmo.
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