2016 Tri-nation congress report

Tri-nation Esperanto congress and summerschool, Bandung, Indonesia : 23 – 28 Mar 2016

Jonny M sings during the congress

Jonny M kantas dum la kongreso

“Selamat Datang untuk congress Darby trunk negara pertama.
Welcome to the tri-nation Esperanto congress.”

With these words, the three national associations welcomed 101 participants, among them 40 foreigners.

When we (Australians, Indonesians and New Zealanders) decided to organise this tri-nation congress in January 2015 we hesitated and – of course – feared a flop. But ultimately we were able to harvest and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

AEA and NZEA supported the congress financially and practically. At the same time IEA helped us attract some Esperanto speakers from Australia, who until now have not participated in national arrangements.

Coming from a country where the majority of Esperanto speakers are elderly, the large number of young, lively students here have given us more hope. Having three country associations organise the congress and foreigners attending from other countries, created a much more international atmosphere than just a national congress.

The program was very varied. There was a class for beginners and advanced learners, presentations about: volcanoes in Auckland, the landscape, flora and fauna in Australia. There were also various interesting lectures from the young Indonesians, the topics included orang-utans, coffee from Javapreanger, the history of gamelan and the publication of books in Indonesia. The young and energetic rap artist Jonny M became very popular among the young local and foreign people.

A great help was the fact that the local Bandung Esperanto group had strong links with the local Asian-African Conference Museum in the city. The opening ceremony took place there, and we also enjoyed the “Night at the Museum” on a rainy Saturday night.

South-East Asia does not abound with esperantists and this tri-nation congress could serve as a model for future events in this and other regions.

We were also very fortunate to have had two UEA committee members with us. Stefan MacGill led the 21st AMO seminar and Ŝlosilo (Lee Jungkee) constantly reminded us of the situation in Asia and especially in Southeast Asia and the importance of this congress.

We decided to hold the second tri-nation Esperanto congress in 2018. We hope to see you (again) in Bandung between the 28th March and 2nd April 2018.

[UPDATE: The 2018 congress actually happened in Bekasi, Indonesia.]

Annual General Meeting (by Skype): 12 Dec 2015

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of AEA will be held on 12 December 2015 at 4:30 pm (Eastern summertime) by Skype. If you wish to take part in the meeting, please send your Skype name to the president, Sandor Horvath at sandorhorvath07 [at] gmail.com, by 11 December.

We have arranged it this way because our AGMs normally occur during congresses, but the next one will be in March 2016, in Indonesia.

New forum for AEA

We are experimenting with a new system for online discussion, to replace the forum associated with the old website. Because that forum had very little activity at the end, we are starting with a very simple, free system (‘Muut’). If you are interested, sign up, have a look around and leave some comments, or even start some new topics.

There are currently 3 ‘channels’: Ĝenerala (for general discussion), Asocia (for discussion about AEA) and Lingva (for discussion about Esperanto itself).

Visit esperanto-aus on Muut now

Don’t forget, we already have a public Facebook group, plus there are numerous other Esperanto-related pages and groups on Facebook.

2015 congress: report and feedback

Australia-New Zealand Congress/Summer school – Melbourne (02 – 11 January 2015)

Ilia Dewi (Indonesia) & Teofilo Jesu Maria de Jesus (East Timor), during the excursion to St Kilda

Fifty people from seven countries participated in the joint Australian and New Zealand congress and summer school at International House, Melbourne University.

Because we really want to improve our relations with our neighbouring countries, we invited Ilia Dewi from Indonesia and Teofilo de Jesus from East Timor. Both represented their countries well.

“The congress was held in a pleasant atmosphere and our acute internal problems of the past few years certainly nearly disappeared into the darkness of history,” said Sandor Horvath, the current AEA president.

Our own Trevor Steele taught the experts about the Crusades, Richard Newsum led the intermediate level, and Ilia, our guest from Indonesia, taught the beginners.

Some of the outstanding presentations were the staging of the film 54 Days with subtitle in Esperanto, the Indonesian evening, and our first remote presentation, by Richard Delamore about Esperanto-TV.

We hope that our next congress will be a common, three-country (Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand) one during Easter 2016 in Bandung, Indonesia. Of course we will welcome visitors from all countries.

Chris Krageloh speaking about interlinguistics

More photos available

Feedback from the participants

Overall, the congress and summer school received positive comments from a number of people (“good”, “enjoyable”, “I learnt a lot”). The organisation of the event, including information on how to get there, was also praised. However, one respondent pointed out the need to attract more young people.

The venue also received positive comments, for its convenience (“everything in the one place”), accommodation, dining room, main program room, food and the friendly workers. One person appreciated the vegetarian options. However, one aspect of the venue that received most negative comments was the Wi-Fi: very difficult to connect (only four devices could be connected at once) and often very unreliable and slow.

The lessons were generally well received, and all three teachers praised. However four respondents in the intermediate class stated that they would have preferred a level between beginners and intermediate, with one expressing difficulty with the direct method. One respondent in the advanced class complained that bad pronunciation by some participants (which made it hard to understand the text) was not corrected.

A number of respondents praised the program (“a good mix of lectures”, “well organised”, “a good balance between excursions, lessons and individual presentations”). The excursions were described as “enjoyable” by three respondents, but two complained about the confusion with time-coordination between the “Ecological Melbourne” and “NGV” excursions. Two respondents suggested that there could be a better balance between Esperanto and English, and one suggested afternoon sessions for beginners or less experienced Esperantists. Other suggestions were:
• to place electives after dinner
• to have talks about Melbourne or Victoria, for those visiting the city
• to have an event for beginners at the same time as the AGM
• to organise a Google Hangout, so those not attending the congress could watch the lectures live from anywhere in the world, and so that we could have more lectures from non-attenders, such as Richard Delamore’s presentation.

One miscellaneous comment was a complaint about the disruption caused by photography within lessons, particularly when a flash was used.

The congress choir performing

Obituary: Keppel Earl Enderby (1926–2015)

Kep EnderbyOur esteemed and beloved Kep, former president of the UEA and AEA, died on 8 January. Due to his activity in the Esperanto movement, people all around the world are mourning.

Kep was born on 25 June 1926 in Dubbo NSW and attended the primary and high schools there. In 1944 the 18-year-old joined the Australian Air Force as trainee pilot (1944-45), and then also flew helicopters until his 60s. After World War II he studied law at the University of Sydney, and during 1950-54 at the University of London, where he later worked as a lawyer and a lecturer.

In 1951, as an amateur golfer, Kep participated in the British Open, and showed so much talent that he beat champions such as Kel Nagle and Norman Von Nida, played with such eminent people as Peter Thompson, and even for a time wondered whether to become a lawyer or professional golfer.

In 1955 he returned to Australia and practised law in Sydney. He moved to Canberra in the ’60s, from 1962 becoming a lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU). During the ’50s and ’60s, he was an active lawyer for civil rights; he helped establish the NSW Council for Civil Liberties – always a great passion of his. In 1970, in a by-election, he was elected Labor MP for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In 1972 Prime Minister Gough Whitlam made him the first Minister for the ACT (later renamed Canberra) and the Northern Territory.

Kep quickly showed his ability, holding several ministries. He was responsible for Australian industry and later for justice. In February 1975 he was made Attorney General. He achieved much, including laws to decriminalise both abortion and homosexuality in the ACT, and laws to create no-fault divorce in Australia. According to colleagues, his parliamentary service was filled with distinction. He was widely respected in various political and jurist circles.

In 1975 the Labor Party lost the election and Kep returned to law. From 1982 until his retirement in 1992 he was a judge in the Supreme Court of NSW. Until 2000 he headed the Serious Offenders Review Council. He always strongly advocated for prisoners’ wellbeing, believing that up to 80% of the Australian prison population should be released; according to him, incarceration of most criminals was counterproductive. However, he not only applied the law correctly and justly, but also according to his conscience. He presided over the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NSW for 6 years. He and Dorothy ardently defended the right for someone to end their own life when it is no longer tolerable.

They moved from Canberra to Balmain, enjoying sailing, flights in light aircraft, reading and… an introduction to Esperanto. Kep’s uncle was a UEA delegate; here was the seed of the interest. Kep learnt Esperanto in 1987 with the help of an Australian diplomat and a staunch Esperantist, Ralph Harry. Of course, as a lifelong champion of human rights, civil liberties and the oppressed, Kep firmly believed that the international language, if spoken all over the world, would reduce conflict between people. No doubt many would consider this as romantic and quixotic. But the heart of Kep, as of Zamenhof, sought international harmony this way. Kep was also an avid reader of the works of the anarchist Prince Pyotr Kropotkin and fervently supported the Global Non-nationalist Association (Sennaciecan Asocion Tutmondan, or SAT).

Kep was president of AEA from 1992 to 1997, in which year he led the organisation of the 82nd World Esperanto Congress in Adelaide. The following year, 1998, he was elected president of UEA. He was a member of the Committee of UEA for four periods 1992-2004, as well as president of the English Legal Association 1996-2002. La Ondo de Esperanto (The Wave of Esperanto) made him Esperantist of the Year 1999. In 2004 he was elected a member of the Honorary Patrons’ Committee of UEA. Not surprisingly, having been a member of parliament, a lawyer and an ardent reader, Kep excelled in his speeches and articles.

Overall, a remarkable man. Farewell, Kep, a good-humoured, dedicated man, with an impertinent sense of humour and an unforgettable smile. Our deepest and sincere condolences to Dorothy and the Enderby family.

Vera Payne

Kep & Dorothy Enderby

Kep & Dorothy Enderby

Kep Enderby (left), 1996, Adelaide. Photo: Katalin Kovats

Kep Enderby (top-left) at the 90th birthday celebration of ex-PM Gough Whitlam

Condolences

Kep was an important leader of the Esperanto movement in Australia and the world, and a very good friend to many of us Esperantists. When I first met him in Toowoomba (he travelled often to support Esperanto in many states) I hardly spoke Esperanto and I was amazed that it was so easy to be friends with the president of AEA. I was proud also about his activity outside of Esperanto, defending human rights.

It was a touching experience to participate in the second Asian congress of Esperanto in Hanoi with many Australians, together with Kep. In 1972 Kep was a minister in the Australian government, which stopped the war against Vietnam. In 1999, during the congress, Vietnamese honoured Kep, the then president of UEA.

Kep and Dorothy will remain in historical stories and in our hearts.
Hazel Green

My first awareness of Esperanto was when I heard a radio interview with Kep Enderby on the ABC on a plane. He inspired me and convinced me of the value and idealism of Esperanto. After I told him about his conversion of me, he always regarded me as his special disciple.
Steven Pitney

Although I met Kep only a few times, I remember him as a clear-thinking, energetic, positive Esperantist. And I also have much sympathy for many of his other views (e.g. concerning human rights and Australian Aborigines) and the fact that he really tried to improve relations between UEA and SAT.
Sandor Horvath

As a politician Kep was able to travel for free to many congresses to represent Australia. Owing to his knowledge and capability he successfully wrote a constitution for radio 3ZZZ and convinced the management to accept Esperanto among over 70 community languages. He was a very kind gentleman.
Jennifer Bishop

I have never met Kep but I have heard some of his wonderful speeches and wonderful reports by him. Everyone at the Esperanto League of WA will join me in expressing my condolences.
Trish O’Connor

Important details for congress registrants

Information regarding the 2015 Esperanto congress and summer school, Melbourne

How to get to the congress venue

International Esperantists or Esperanto speakers from other states, who intend to use public transport in Melbourne, and who will be travelling by “Skybus” from the airport or who will be travelling by train to “Southern Cross” station, must buy a “Myki” visitor card ($14 or $7 concession). This visitor card includes a map and instructions for the use of the card. These can be bought at booths next to the Skybus stops at the airport. They are also available at the station (next to Collins Street). It is better if you put extra money on the card when you buy it, because the initial cost only gives you one day of travel.

Tickets are NOT for sale in trams, buses or on trains!

After buying the Myki card, catch tram no. 86 or 96 (destination: Brunswick) until Elizabeth Street, get out and catch tram no. 19 (destination: North Coburg) and get out at stop 15.

The gate to International House, 241 Royal Parade, Parkville, is a brightly coloured arch.

The alternative is to go to the International House by taxi, only 2km from the city centre.

Accommodation – arriving and departing

Accommodation will be available from 12 noon and you will need to vacate your room before 10am on the day you leave.

Registration

Registration will start at 2pm. The first event will be the communal evening meal.

Volunteer librarian needed

The Library and Archive of the Australian Esperanto Association, held in Esperanto House (close to Redfern Railway Station, Sydney) is maintained by a retired librarian in Canberra who visits several times per year.

A retired librarian, or someone with library experience, based in Sydney, is needed to give local assistance in maintaining order in the collection of approximately 4000 items.

Contact Huigh Malcolm (huighm@gmail.com).

Second AMO seminar – Sidney, Canada

A view of the seminar
On 9 and 10 July 2014, thirty or so activists from Canada and the United States, plus visitors from China, Japan and Taiwan, and I from Australia, participated in a two-day seminar for activist development (“AMO-2”) in the coastal town of Sidney (British Columbia, Canada). The seminar addressed the theme “The strategy and practice of Esperanto promotion in North America”, under the guidance of Dr Mark Fettes, president of UEA.

The Mary Winspear Center, Sidney BC, the seminar venue

Within the program were several presentations and discussion sessions, and various workshops on specific topics. At the end of the seminar four working groups were created, on:
– development of technical resources
– the use of social networks
– responses to FAQs, and
– creating a framework for further efforts towards sustainable development.
Each group aims to build upon ideas and discussions from the seminar, to prepare concrete recommendations and information resources over the coming months.

In the opening plenary, Fettes pointed out that information is more effective when it touches the feelings and emotions of people. Although one should not neglect rational arguments for Esperanto, a priority is the communication of core values – for example, that Esperantists are open, inclusive, inquisitive, educated, and with a high sense of personal responsibility. According to him, promotion of Esperanto should clearly show that Esperantists are multilingual and diverse people, who in turn understand and love human diversity.

Dr Mark Fettes presents the opening plenary

In another thought-provoking contribution, “How to talk to language teachers”, Grant Goodall challenged certain favourite myths of our movement. According to him, the irregularity of ethnic languages does not give as big a problem for learning as Esperantists tend to imagine. While American language teachers share some of our criticisms on the dominance of English, many of them see as a big problem in the spread of Spanish as a “second language for all” in American schools. Thus it is necessary, when in contact with language teachers, to stress our conviction that all languages are worthy of being taught and learnt.

A workshop on being interviewed by journalists led to an additional one on how to answer the most “ticklish” questions about Esperanto. In parallel were workshops about social networking and the creation of audiovisual information materials, such as videos.

One of the workshops

Some of the ideas which Fettes explored also evolved into a further working group. In a discussion about core values, the group realised that it would be necessary to rethink the look and content of the basic media and websites of the North American associations, to better communicate these values to the general public. For example, one could collect short personal testimonies and stories, from people of different ages, regions, ethnicities, etc., about the educational and interpersonal value of Esperanto, to graphically illustrate the colourfulness and inclusivity of the movement.

It became clear that we do not know enough about the backgrounds, motives, interests and abilities of those who are interested in Esperanto. Thus was born a project to survey several groups – such as association members, people seeking information about the language, lernu-users and NASK students – and to collect and analyse such information. With the support of the governing bodies of Esperanto-USA and the Canadian Esperanto Association, and specialist advice from Ĵenja Amis (a Master’s student in marketing), a small team will realise this project in the coming months. If it turns out to be useful, it could be a model for other national associations, such as our own (AEA).

Many interesting and useful pieces of advice were discussed. I hope to follow this report with more detailed notes, but in the meantime, amongst the pieces of advice from the seminar were the following (regarding contact with journalists, in interviews, media releases and articles):
– Find a concrete anchor or hook, e.g. an anecdote or quotation about a particular person, event or achievement.
– Avoid too many internal terms, abbreviations and esperantisms (e.g. “congress” and “Esperantist” – better would be a “conference” and “Esperanto speaker”).
– Pay attention to local culture and the ways that certain words and concepts are interpreted, such as “international”, “planned”, “constructed”, “artificial”, “universal” and “neutral”.
– Do not invent ”facts” in an interview. If you don’t know an answer, say so, and say something that you actually do know. Obviously, however, the more you know, the better!

Jonathan Cooper

[I would like to thank Dr Mark Fettes for his permission to use parts of his own report as a basis for my own.]