Four full days in Esperantoland

By Terry Manley (Armidale, NSW)

(English translation of an article originally published in Esperanto sub la Suda Kruco, vol. 26[2], no. 135, June 2019)

6 people working in the archive

I arrived at Esperanto House on Tuesday, 23 April, and met Franciska, who also came to help with the archive at Esperanto House. After a bit of a chat we went shopping and, returning to the club, had dinner. Dmitry had left a mattress and sheets for me on the upper floor where I slept. It was pleasing to hear Franciska’s fluent, clear voice and have a chance to talk [in Esperanto] face to face, which I miss in Armidale.

On Wednesday morning Sandor, Jonathan, and Heather with her granddaughter, Elizabeth, arrived. So there were six of us to fill the space and work on the archive. After a brief meeting… we started working. I write “started” but immediately there was hesitation, as we noted how much work we faced to classify, order, unbox, scan, record, etc, the contents of the room. But deciding that a journey of a thousand steps starts with the first, we started.

Heather and Franciska concentrated on putting the already numbered books in order onto the selves. And they continued doing this for three days, because there were so many books. I congratulate them for such diligent focus, without which the task would not have been completed. On the first day, Sandor and Jonathan explored boxes that contained Australian items, specifically photos. They also discussed the system of ordering books. Since others had already started with the Dewey system we agreed to continue likewise. There are both advantages and disadvantages with this system in the cases of specialist collections. The Esperanto collection is classified as if Esperanto were its own country, not as in a normal Australian library.

At 2:30pm we went to the state art gallery. Through Meetup Jonathan had organised to guide a group for one hour at 3pm. Our group and four others – James, Doris, Helen and Dmitry – met for the tour. Jonathan showed us some paintings from the collection and explained how you can see echoes of both shapes and colors in some paintings. He also showed us the use of the “golden ratio” by one painter. Five of us decided to stay on to look at some more paintings and to watch a film. The film was “A Touch of Zen” from Thailand, 1971.

Guided tour at the Art Gallery

On Thursday, Alan Turvey arrived at Esperanto House. Again, Heather, Franciska and I continued the shelving of the books, while Sandor, Alan and Jonathan photographed, digitised and recorded photos from the boxes. I feel that the work is a like a self-guided course, where we learnt about the Dewey system, how many books are involved in each category, and also how Esperantists have worked hard to create this literature, both original and translated, including specialist books. Some of us learnt how best to use a mobile phone to photograph things. We learnt about some treasures from our collection, first editions and rarities.

On Thursday evening four of us – Heather, Sandor, Franciska and I – went to meet [Esperanto speaker] Daniel Kane in Epping for dinner at a pizzeria. It was an evening of good-hearted chat, remembering the past and catching up.

On Friday six of us – Elizabeth, Heather’s granddaughter, had returned – worked on the archive. Up from the ground floor floated beautiful music from a Russian singing group, who had come to rehearse. Before starting we had the opportunity to visit the studio behind Esperanto House, and the artists who work in it. Hugh has leased the space from EFNSW (Esperanto Federation of NSW) since 1995 and has been successful enough to continue working there since. He has gathered a community of local artists and the atmosphere was vibrant and extremely interesting for us.

Then we managed to put nearly all the numbered books onto the shelves and do lots of photography. We also started to organise some Esperanto items such as those relating to UEA (World Esperanto Association): year books, congress books, etc. We want to acknowledge the work of those who had previously taken care of the archive. Ralph Harry, Peter Hai and Huigh Malcolm need special mentions. Many of the bound collections of newspapers are already on the shelves thanks to Huigh.

At 3pm we met together and showed each other what we had done individually and again summarised the group’s goals and discussed plans to continue the work. After 4pm many Russian children came to the club to paint and make other artefacts related to their culture. It was good to note that the club really lives through the extension to groups from other cultures. In the evening Franciska and I went to Newtown, where we ate in a Thai restaurant. By chance we bumped into Heather and Elizabeth on the street.

Early on Saturday, I went to Manly beach, where I enjoyed swimming in the clear, smooth waves. Later I met Roger Springer, Sandor and Franciska at the Bavarian Café. It was not a usual Saturday for that [Manly Esperanto Club], so we thank Roger for coming to meet us and for the drinks. Roger brought Eunice Graham’s photo albums to donate to the archive. Sandor and I said good-bye because we were going to a language festival in Gordon, which Dmitry had organised. It was a very friendly event with about 20 participants. We learned a bit about Tamil, Hindi, Arabic, Tangut (an ancient language near Mongolia), Dutch, and a language from a small group in Russia. Dmitry presented that last one. Also, Sandor introduced Esperanto.

Arriving at Esperanto House in Dmitry’s car, I was ready to rest, but the club was so active that this was not possible. In the courtyard was a group of actors and assistants who were making a movie in the artists’ studio. They ate and chatted. Dmitry, with a friend Sam, led a chess group on the upper floor. I looked in and there were 10–12 of them. In the room below Richard Delamore was teaching Esperanto to 12 young people. He entertained them with a lively lesson on the rules of the “good language”.

Feeling the need to wind down a little, I left the chess-lovers and young people to their activities. I walked with Sandor across the university grounds to the place where he was staying. It was more tranquil between the impressive sandstone buildings with their beautiful archways and courtyards, without the constant traffic going past.

Returning to the club I found it quiet. There was only a silent duo playing a final chess game.

Good night.

Three-day archive working bee

Between 24th and 26th April, Jonathan Cooper (Gosford, NSW), Heather Heldzingen (Melbourne), Sandor Horvath (Adelaide), Franciska Toubale (Melbourne) and Terry Manley (Armidale, NSW) participated in the archive working bee at Esperanto House, Sydney. Alan Turvey (Wyong, NSW) also participated on the 25th.

We started ordering books, scanned about 800 photos and discussed at length how to organize our books, magazines and other things. Some results will hopefully appear soon on our website. Of course, there is much more to do, so if anyone wants and is able to help, please contact us.

Helpers in the archive room

During the afternoon of the 24th, Jonathan led the group, plus several other Esperantists, through a part of the Art Gallery of NSW (where he worked for more than 30 years).

Group at the Art Gallery of NSW

Five aims of the archive

1. To conserve the collection

Esperanto House is the most continuously available place to keep the archive. So…
• Let’s explore how best to keep old rarities in the collection.
• We recommend purchasing suitable containers for conserving and displaying collection objects in safe conditions

2. Make the content available and promote it to the Esperanto community

The Internet would be the most effective means, but this depends on resources both human and technical. So…
• Let’s register the content on the website
• Let’s photograph where appropriate
• Let’s scan rarities
• Let’s lend for research

3. Promote through archive items

• Let’s exhibit rarities, either online or physically (in appropriate containers), for propaganda

4. Add items to the collection

• Let’s look for shortcomings in the collection, especially items about Australia, and ask Esperantists to donate

5. Sift through the collection

• Let’s separate non-rare duplicates: either put them in the library or – if these are superfluous – offer them to clubs or individuals

– Jonathan Cooper and Terry Manley

Passing of Margaret Chaldecott

Margaret Chaldecott
It is with great sadness that we announce that our dear friend Margaret Chaldecott passed away on 25 March 2019.

Margaret was a member of the Sydney Esperanto Society for a long time and, from 1964, has been at various times secretary, president and board member of the Esperanto Federation of New South Wales (and the editor of the newsletter “Telopeo”) and a board member of the Australian Esperanto Association. She was a delegate of UEA for many years.

Through dedicated members like Margaret, the movement has survived and prospered for many years and for this we are very grateful to her.

Esperanto speakers who knew Margaret are invited to the funeral, which will take place at Gregory & Carr, 850 Pacific Highway Gordon, on 4 April at 11am.

Esperanto on SBS radio

On 6 June 2018 a journalist (Amelia Dunn) and videographer from the Australian radio and television station SBS spent an hour and a half interviewing several Esperantists at Esperanto House, Sydney. The result (so far) is a short radio program/podcast: Universal but obscure language making a comeback with internet.

Joanne Cho talks to journalist Amelia Dunn as other Esperantists listen (Photo: Nicole Else)

 

Richard Delamore talks to journalist Amelia Dunn as other listen (Photo: Jonathan Cooper)

Ilia Sumilfia Dewi’s Bekasi report

Report on the Second Three-country Congress in Bekasi, Indonesia

From 28 March to 2 April 2018 the second three-country congress took place in the city of Bekasi, which is located 55.6 km from the international airport in Jakarta.

Most congress participants from other countries have never heard of the city and have no idea what it is like. However, I proposed the city to the other organisations from Australia and New Zealand because there are young people in this second big city of West Java who have already learned Esperanto in a linguistic community, Faktabahasa Bekasi. Besides that, some young activists live in Bekasi and were prepared to work to organise the congress.

This time the congress was smaller than the last three-country congress, in Bandung in 2016. Thirty-seven Indonesians participated and 29 people from 7 other countries: Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Spain, Korea, Philippines and East Timor. Among the congress participants there were newcomers and young people from various parts of Indonesia. We successfully sponsored them because of a special UEA account (iesa-p). Thank you very much to Esperantists who have already supported our movement with that account. It was also great that ten East Timorese came thanks to a subsidy, which was arranged by Heidi Goes.

On the evening of the first day, the congress opened with a bit of ceremony. The organisers from three countries welcomed the congress participants. Between them, a young Indonesian read an Esperanto poem and the group of East Timorese sang their traditional song beautifully. Then all the speakers had the opportunity to invite congress participants to their lectures and finally we together sang the hymn, La Espero. The program continued with fun games in the ice-breaker evening.

The following day, a number of important lectures took place, such as a talk by Humphrey Tonkin, who talked about the current situation of Esperanto in the world, and a speech by the president of UEA, Mark Fettes, about the current situation of UEA and Esperanto in the world. These lectures were well arranged using Skype. At the same time, in other rooms, two invited teachers taught Esperanto to beginners and more advanced language-learners. The courses took place four times for three hours at a time. Other interesting lectures were also presented by people from the Philippines, Australia and Spain. We also gave an opportunity for beginners to give talks, so that they might have the courage to speak the language.

On 30 March, when it was an Easter holiday in Indonesia, more Indonesians were able to attend the congress. There was a lecture again with Skype and this time, Jonathan Cooper from Australia talked about how to write for the electronic medium. Then, several talks about culture, interesting topics enriched the knowledge of congress participants. In the evening, the East-Timorese group presented an artistic show. They sang, danced, even performed magic. Following the program it continued like an ‘Arta Vespero’, as in a World Congress. The congress participants showed their artistic presentations singly or in groups. Together with some participants from other countries, we danced a traditional dance from Indonesia.

In front of the National Art Gallery, Jakarta

During the excursion day that took place on Saturday, we went to Jakarta to visit the national gallery, which exhibits art. Then the participants also visited the national museum and “Taman Mini Indonesia Indah”, which is recommended to learn something about the diversity of Indonesian culture. In the evening, the participant from Bali spoke about his Esperanto activity and then there was a language festival, the purpose of which was to learn and practise some other languages. Young Indonesians have been very enthusiastic about this program because they are very interested in using languages.

In front of the Bali House at “Taman Mini Indonesia Indah”

On 1 April, a group of congress participants took part in the vehicle-free day, which takes place each Sunday morning. Between 6am and 10am cars are banned from the main street of Bekasi and during these four hours the street abounds in pedestrians, cyclists and joggers. For an hour we used the event to promote Esperanto to the public. In order to catch the attention of the people around us, we walked with a congress banner, sang and danced together. A few people came up and asked about Esperanto and our activity.

An impressive talk about the history of the Indonesian Esperanto movement was presented by Heidi Goes, based on her nearly completed book. She has explored many details about various Indonesian Esperantists, places and events. The book can therefore be a good way to discover Esperanto’s existence in Indonesia.

Eating together – often the best part of a congress

After that, Carlos Spinola lectured on the use of Esperanto in the University of Valencia in Spain, and the Cassini project. Other lectures were also interesting, such as a talk by Park Soohyean, about the food customs of the Korean traditional festival day, and a look at songs from lyricist’s point of view, by Kam Lee from Australia. In the evening we went together to a restaurant for the banquet.

During the last day, in the morning, the closing ceremony took place. Then the participants had the opportunity to comment on their impressions, opinions or criticisms. We would say that the congress was successful because participants’ comments were mainly positive. During the closing ceremony, many people emphasised the fact that the valuable aspect of the congress was friendship. For the third congress, we began to explore the possibility of establishing a joint event in Bali after two or three years.

Ilia Sumilfia Dewi : ilia.dewi@gmail.com
Indonesian Esperanto Association

Second Tri-nation Congress 2018

The 2018 tri-nation congress in Bekasi has concluded. This page describes what happened.
Indonesia / Australia / New Zealand

BEKASI, INDONESIA : 28 March – 2 April 2018

HORISON HOTEL
JI. KH. Noer Ali, Kayuringin Jaya, Bekasi Sel., Kota Bks, Jawa Barat 17148, Indonesia

See reports, comments and photos

SPECIAL GUESTS
Heidi Goes (b. 1976, Belgium) graduated in African languages and cultures with a dissertation on the Esperanto movement in Africa (1999). She is a co-compiler of the Indonesian language books Kunci Esperanto (2009) and Fundamento de Esperanto (2017). During this congress she presented her book on the history of the Esperanto movement in Indonesia.
Albert Stalin Garrido is currently the president of Philippine Esperanto Youth (FEJ). He led the reestablishment of the Esperanto movement in the Philippines in 2013, when he was only 15 years old. Now a 19-year old senior geography student in the University of Philippines, he also focuses on Philippine and Japan studies.

TEACHERS
PARK Soohyean (“Elstara”), member of ILEI and past committee member of Korean Esperanto Association
Marc SCHMIDT, teacher and comic-book author

PROGRAM included:

• Esperanto classes in two levels
• Evening of theatre and music
• Esperanto exhibition
• Banquet
• Excursions
• Lectures about Esperanto and other topics
• Conversation and laughter

Download the full program (PDF, 11 pages, 201 KB, language: Esperanto)

Download the Second congress bulletin (PDF, 4 pages, 401 KB, in Esperanto)

PRE- AND POST-CONGRESS EXCURSIONS

The pre-congress excursion was in Anyer, 23 to 27 March 2018. The program was mainly about coastal activities and the volcano Krakatoa.
More information about the excursion to Anyer (PDF, 137 KB)

The post-congress excursion was in Bali, 3 to 6 April 2018.
More information about the excursion to Bali (PDF, 146 KB)

Reports, comments and photos

Report by the president of AEA
Report by Ilia Sumilfia Dewi (Indonesia)
Farewell message from Albert Stalin Garrido (Philippines)
Comments by congress participants
Interviews with East Timorese participants

Farewell message from Albert Garrido

A breath of fresh air
A farewell message from Albert Stalin Garrido (Philippines)

AEA invited Albert to the second three-country congress in Bekasi. It was the first time to hear something about Esperanto in the Philippines.

Albert Stalin Garrido

Dear congress-participants and friends,

With regret I apologise because I could not take part in the closing ceremony with you, because I had to fly out at 11am. I could not even properly say goodbye, specifically during the banquet, because I had to leave early to take the opportunity to buy souvenirs in the bazaar.

Indonesia is a very wonderful country. As I have said many times, it reminds me a lot of Manila. With the cultural and linguistic diversity, it is colourful and it is the challenge for us to discover even more deeply the wonderful things in these colours.

The three-country congress is a breath of fresh air for me. This is my sixth congress, but the first five were especially for older people, with whom I have understandable differences, views or experiences, etc. So, it is my first opportunity to participate in an international Esperanto event, whose participants were mostly young people. I see with my two eyes that the Esperantist youth both in Indonesia and in East Timor are really growing, and they cause the flourishing of competent participants in the movement, strengthening the fire in my heart. That fire is my constant affirmation that southeast Asia is the hope of our movement. And that we still have much work to do to promote the success already begun. I thank all the young Indonesians and East-Timorese who have the enthusiasm to show their skills and knowledge during various programs, and who also interacted with interest with me. Well, I’m generally a timid man, but the passion of interaction flows from that energy shown by them.

The East Timorese present “capoeira”

I’m also glad to get acquainted with Australian and New Zealand Esperantists, with whom I previously had almost no contact. It was indeed strange that despite the relative proximity between the Philippines and those two countries, we have not really had any kind of cooperation. On the other hand, I also thank the Australian Esperanto Association that made my trip possible and has thus effectively established relationships between our movements. Hopefully, the movements in both countries will continue to contribute to strengthening relations between countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Overall, I’m glad that through the three opportunities in which I could share my knowledge (The Philippines, the Philippines movement and Tagalog), many started to have a fresh knowledge of us. I always find energy to open the eyes of foreigners to my country, especially about our country’s Esperanto movement, which unfortunately remains relatively isolated from the rest of the international community.

Having said all that, I invite you to keep in touch with the Philippines Esperanto community, and I hope we will see each other very soon, whether in Indonesia again, or elsewhere, or even in the Philippines, where I will welcome you with all my heart. Returning home, let’s continue to plan and act more passionately to advance our noble cause.

Always forward!

Albert Stalin Garrido

AEA president’s Bekasi report

Friendship in Bekasi
Second three-country congress, Bekasi, Indonesia

28 March – 2 April 2018

One of the numerous group photos in the Zamenhof room

I’m sitting in a blue Damri bus between Bekasi and the airport in Jakarta. The half-full bus only moves slowly, often even stands still. I wonder how many days (years) these traffic-stops steal from the population? Outside I see the huge, vast city of Jakarta. One hour ago we said good-bye to our new/old friends. So what was the second three-country congress like? Not as many people participated as two years ago in Bandung. Probably because the preparation didn’t go as smoothly this time (in Bekasi 63 from 8 countries).

Of course, not everything was perfect. For example, unfortunately we often didn’t eat together, simply because the food in the hotel was too expensive for the Indonesians and the East Timorese. The general inequality in the world is also reflected in this congress.

However, I would say that the congress was successful. The comments of the participants were mainly positive.

Vehicle-free morning. Incredible. The main street without cars. A good opportunity to promote Esperanto

  • Heidi Goes presented her almost-ready book on the history of Esperanto in Indonesia. A very impressive thing. She really explored many details about various Indonesian Esperantists, places and events. This book will be a great model for the history of Esperanto in other countries. Also for us.
  • We went on an excursion: We saw interesting things in the National Gallery, the National Museum and “Taman Mini Indonesia Indah”, a place that shows many diverse traditional buildings from various parts of Indonesia.
  • We were lucky. Heidi also managed to get money from UEA to allow ten(!) young East Timorese to attend. They definitely made the event more lively and enriching. I hope we can continue our contact with them. Think about visiting them in East Timor.
  • The Skype presentations worked well: Humphrey Tonkin and Mark Fettes presented the current situation of UEA and Esperanto in the world. Both were fairly positive about the future of our language. Jonathan also presented via Skype “Writing for the electronic environment”. It’s very good to have someone so attentive among us.
  • Albert, a young man from the Philippines, represented his country very well and I enjoyed hearing about the young Esperantists in the Philippines for the first time.
  • We listened to presentations about unusual trees, flags, the use of Esperanto in the University of Valencia in Spain, the Cassini project and others.
  • A group of us participated in the weekly vehicle-less morning. Between 6am and 10am cars are banned from the main street of Bekasi and during these four hours the street abounds with pedestrians, cyclists, joggers. We promoted Esperanto and I enjoyed the fact that we were finally outside in the real world, not just in rooms on the second floor of the Horison Hotel.
  • As in Bandung, energy, interest and enthusiasm among the young people was a great encouragement for the slightly older foreigners.
  • During the closing ceremony many stressed that the most valuable aspect of the congress was friendship. I hope many of the new friends will remain friends.

The beginners’ class with teacher Elstara

Will there be a third three-country congress? Who knows? We have begun to explore the possibility of establishing a joint event in Bali in two or three years’ time. What do you think?

Sandor Horvath
President, AEA