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

Comments on the Second Three-country Congress

At the end of the Second Three-country Congress in Bekasi, Indonesia, 2018, we asked participants to give us their comments. Here are the results:

  • I liked the course and the performances, the dancing and the singing. I especially liked the presentation of Sandor, Heidi and Elstara.
  • I can not speak Esperanto, so I’m sorry for English …
    I feel so blessed to be able to attend the congress. All of the people there were so kind and friendly. Too bad, my Esperanto is not good, but I’ll study hard after this congress. I got a lot of knowledge here. Not only did I learn more about Esperanto, but also other languages and cultures. And the most important thing: I feel like I got a new family.
  • I had an enjoyable time at the congress. I now have many new friends from other countries. Please forgive me. Thank you all. I love you.
  • At the beginning I spoke nervously, but in the meantime I got new friends. I want to come to the next congress. I was sad to say good bye to my friends. Many thanks to the LKK and those from other countries for visiting us.
  • I liked the program, especially the presentation by Sandor, Carlos and Albert. I liked poems to the Indonesian movement, the dances, the plays and songs. I am very pleased that I have met many people from your country.
  • The congress was good, but I regret that more people didn’t participate in the presentations.
  • In my opinion it wasn’t a very nice place. The location of the first congress was much more appropriate, with grass. We were much more outside, etc. Now we were continually inside, and outside there is no pleasant shade and a lot of traffic. Inside there was too much air conditioning, etc – many were sick because of that. It was too expensive for everyone, so much needed to come from other places every day. A smaller city would be better, and not a huge hotel. Several speakers did not have a very low language level. (??)
    Positive: Diversity of the lectures, Skype lectures.
    Negative: Apparently there were announcements made for everyone. There was sometimes a bit of information missing, for example, at the beginning about where one will eat in the morning.
  • I am Alfrinadi, a beginner. I think congress was very good. I learned Esperanto during the congress. I want to participate in Esperanto congress outside Indonesia.
  • I knew you very well at the congress, but I do not know much about your life, because I have not talked to you yet. However, I think you have a good vision and plans for the future. Esperanto gives us a new way, a new life.
  • I was glad I could participate in the congress, because I can meet new friends in various regions and countries. I hope I can participate in the next three-country congress and meet other Esperantists. Many thanks.
  • Better than I expected. Very pleasant atmosphere I was very sorry that we did not eat together. Perhaps the foreigners can support the Indonesians and East Timorese next time. The program was varied and the presentations were well prepared. I’m very sorry that not even one veteran could come. Good, attractive excursion on Saturday. I really like the vehicle-less day on Sunday morning. Until the next event.
  • A great rich program. Too much even. A good, convenient room. Skyping progresses, still often problems, but expert users usually solve them. Excellent, attractive congress book. Food management gradually improved during the congress. Let’s improve the communication about excursions. The artistic evening and East-Timorese presentation were excellent.
  • I enjoyed the congress very much. If we could eat together, it would be better. If we could live together, it would be even better. You do not need to have such a luxury hotel. The warmth of choirs was pleasing to me. We laughed a lot. Thanks to everyone! – Hadie
  • Congratulations to the organizers of the three-country congress. And hearty thanks for the beautiful and wonderful congress. I enjoyed learning a lot.
  • Instead of exhausting everyone’s energy with the late-night program, let’s have shorter and less activities: 9:00am – 5:00pm, dinner, finish. Choose less costly accommodation & lower priced restaurants. Some Esperantists are not rich. A local community hall for the last day dinner with everyone bringing some food and fruits. Many thanks. – Marumi Smith (Melbourne)
  • I didn’t understand what was happening most of the time, but I enjoyed it. A good program. The illustrated presentations were much easier to follow for me as I could make some connections with the words and the pictures. Great camaraderie among participants. – Greg Jeffs
  • I enjoyed the congress because I could meet Esperanto friends, whom I did not meet very well. I could be friends with new friends, especially with the East Timorese. I know that participants were not as many as in the last three-country congress.
  • It was a good congress. I enjoyed it very much. My teacher is good. I hope we will not have more congresses.
  • I really enjoyed the friendship and conversations. Maybe too many lectures. Maybe a religious service would be good?
  • Hello. I am Mateus de Sena and I’m a beginner. During the congress I liked the presentations of Heidi, Sandor, Carlos and Albert, because they gave good news and at the same time I learned new words. I really enjoyed meeting new friends from different countries. And I also enjoyed our excursion. It was my first congress. Thank you from Mateus
  • I really liked the atmosphere and friendship of all the congress participants and thank the organizers for this wonderful and fruitful congress. The participation of the young people in this region and their cooperation is [esplorplena?], as well as the collaboration of Indonesians, East Timorese, Filipinos, Australians, New Zealanders and people from other countries. Thanks to everyone. Continue in the friendly and fraternal way for Esperanto. – Carlos
  • Generally interesting. A good opportunity to meet people from other countries. Again, the “western” countries provided the older people, while the others provided the young people. Although I enjoyed the luxury of the hotel, I think that a hotel not so luxurious would be more suitable, so as not to divide the participants. This time there were clearly two groups: those who could pay and those who couldn’t. I did not much like the visit to “mini Indonesia”: too many cars everywhere. Due to changes in the program I arrived late, I missed shows. I definitely preferred the art gallery. In future, think about more possibilities for exchanges, mainly not emphasising the haves and the have-nots.
  • I really thank the organisers (because I know that it is usually the same small number of diligent workers).
    – I enjoyed the games during the ice-breaker evening
    – The individual lectures were good
    – The car-less walk was a miracle. I enjoyed finally seeing the local population on the street playing, laughing, riding bicycles, walking, chatting
    – For me, the dirty air in the cities is surely in my memory and a good reminder that I am lucky to live in a clean place
    – The best experience was to chat with people from other countries and become friends with them
  • Firstly, I greet you from this heroic city. And on behalf of the LKK, I apologise to all if you have been experiencing any unpleasantness. We confess that we have made many mistakes, but hopefully that was not important for you.
  • My experience of the three-country congresss was cool. I was glad to meet new and old friends. I’m also happy that I could strengthen the link with other LKK members and Indonesian Esperantists. Thanks, three-country congress.
  • My name is Tiwi. I’m a beginner. It’s too hard for me to express all my joy with Esperanto, but I’ll keep learning and improving. The congress was interesting. I learned Esperanto from many people. I also acquired new friends. I loved this. Many thanks!
  • According to me, the congress was a little disorganised, because sometimes things did not work together. Eg, the banquet and the excursion. But I was happy to see a lot of young people from Indonesia and East Timor talking in Esperanto. I want them to talk even better at the next congress. But the most important thing is unity and I hope more people will come to the next three-country congress. In this congress there were not that many people from New Zealand and Australia. I also hope there will be more vegetables and greens, and that food ingredients would be identified (vegan, vegetarian).
  • Generally it was good, but I thought there was a lot of difference between young and old. I really felt the difference of the “second class”. I think the Esperanto movement is in transition, because many young people now speak Esperanto. There must be a plan for everyone together in the next congress. Money is an important thing for many. The rich must support the poorer more.
  • 1. The lectures were good.
    2. The theatre pieces were good.
    3. The Saturday excursion was very good
    4. Very good were the presentation of the congress book.
    Bad things: There was no common congress food. The walls between the Zamenhof room and the adjacent room were not thick enough. We heard the noise from the neighboring room.
  • My name is Eĉa. Today I feel sad. Why will this day end? However, I am very happy to join you from Korea, from Australia, from Belgium, from New Zealand, from East Timor and from Spain. First of all, I thought it would be difficult being next to you. I will never forget that moment. I learned more Esperanto, so now I can talk with you. I love you all.
  • Esperanto is for unification, not for hatred among Esperantists. The congress venue / lectures should not be so cold, because the air conditioner actually made a lot of people sick.

Esperanto promoted in Maitland, NSW

On Saturday 10 February 2018, several Esperantists (four wearing special green t-shirts) went to the Maitland Riverlights Multicultural Festival.

Eckard Roehrich demonstrated wooden word-blocks, which he made for teaching the language. The team also taught many people at the “Language Lounge”.

When we offered propaganda material, some people said, “I’m good”. Certainly. But I think they would be better if they accepted the booklets. 😄 Some children requested many booklets – very formally.

Lastly, after sunset, little lights were sent down river. A beautiful sight, although not very serious.

– Andrew Spannenberg

From left: Rainer Kurz (Germany), Deshun (China), Eckard Roehrich (Central Coast), Andrew Spannenberg (Newcastle), Alan Turvey (Central Coast). Dmitry Lushnikov (Sydney) also helped at the Esperanto table, but didn’t appear in the photo. Photo courtesy of Richard Hershman, Maitland City Council

Annual General Meeting 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Esperanto Association will be held on Saturday, 3 February 2018, by Skype. The meeting will start at 2:00 pm Australian Eastern Summer Time (Sydney, Melbourne).

If you would like to participate, please email your Skype name to Sandor, at prezidanto@esperanto.org.au.

Pre- and post-congress excursions 2018

Some details of the excursions before and after the Second Tri-nation Congress 2018 in Bekasi, Indonesia, have been released.

The pre-congress excursion will be in Anyer, 23 to 27 March 2018. The program will be mainly about coastal activities and the volcano Krakatoa.

The post-congress excursion will be in Bali, 3 to 6 April 2018. The program is to be determined.

Free Language Festival in Hunters Hill (NSW)

The Language Festival Association is hosting a free language festival on Saturday, 15 July 2017, at Gladesville Road Community Centre, Hunters Hill.

Greg CooperThe purpose of this language festival is to promote awareness of language diversity, by providing “tasters” of multiple languages and cultures in a fun environment.

A highlight will be a fascinating presentation by Australian linguist, Dr Gregory Cooper, on ‘Accents and Pronunciation’. In the early 1980s Dr Cooper travelled to remote north-western Pakistan to study an as-yet unwritten language. Just by interacting directly with the native speakers, he was able to learn the language (Kalashamondr), create a system of writing for it and teach it to the Kalasha people, who are now recording and publishing their own stories and songs.

Also presented will be Esperanto, the world’s most successful international language. Apart from its role in neutral and equitable communication, Esperanto can also be useful as a “springboard language”: Because its simple rules have virtually no exceptions, and because its grammatical structure is always clear, starting with Esperanto can give one the confidence and solid grounding that are so important in language learning.

Also at the festival will be sessions on Kalashamondr, Tamil, Bangla, German, Ukrainian, Russian and more.

The festival will be held at Gladesville Road Community Centre, 44 Gladesville Rd, Hunters Hill, from 12 noon to 4 pm.

For more information, visit languagefestival.org.

Image: Dr Gregory Cooper, linguist

Free Language Festival in Liverpool (NSW)

The Language Festival Association is hosting a free language festival on Saturday, 6 May 2017, at Liverpool Library.

Greg CooperThe purpose of this language festival is to promote awareness of language diversity, by providing “tasters” of multiple languages and cultures in a fun environment.

A highlight will be a fascinating presentation by Australian linguist, Dr Gregory Cooper, on ‘Accents and Pronunciation’. In the early 1980s Dr Cooper travelled to remote north-western Pakistan to study an as-yet unwritten language. Just by interacting directly with the native speakers, he was able to learn the language (Kalashamondr), create a system of writing for it and teach it to the Kalasha people, who are now recording and publishing their own stories and songs.

Also presented will be Esperanto, the world’s most successful international language. Apart from its role in neutral and equitable communication, Esperanto can also be useful as a “springboard language”: Because its simple rules have virtually no exceptions, and because its grammatical structure is always clear, starting with Esperanto can give one the confidence and solid grounding that are so important in language learning.

Some other sessions at the festival include talks on similarities and differences between Indonesian and Malay, and between Mandarin and Cantonese, a Vietnamese lantern-making workshop for children, and a multicultural lunch (please bring some food to share).

The festival will be held at Liverpool Library, 170 George Street, Liverpool, from 11 am to 4 pm.

For more information, visit languagefestival.org.

Image: Dr Gregory Cooper, linguist