The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Esperanto culture

Participants at Esperanto international youth conference
Participants at Esperanto international youth conference

The language Esperanto is often used to access an international culture. There are over 25,000 Esperanto books (originals and translations) as well as over a hundred regularly distributed Esperanto magazines . Many Esperanto speakers use the language for free travel throughout the world using the Pasporta Servo. Others like the idea of having pen pals in many countries around the world using services like the Esperanto Pen Pal Service.

Every year, hundreds of new titles are published in Esperanto along with music. Also, many Esperanto newspapers and magazines exist. There are full-time broadcasts in Esperanto via the radio-esperanto website; additionally there are radio broadcasts in Esperanto by various stations at certain times of day in certain regions (see AERA). There even exist some Esperanto films. As of July 2003, the Esperanto wiki lists 14 films and 3 short films, including Incubus starring William Shatner.

Additionally, aspects of Esperanto influenced the fictional language Newspeak in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, e.g. the Newspeak construction doubleplusungood reflects the Esperanto construction malbonega. This is unlikely to be coincidental, as Orwell had previously spent time living in an Esperanto-speaking home with Eugene Lanti of the Esperanto-based organization Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda.

In 2001, the World Esperanto Association (Universala Esperanto-Asocio) had members in 119 countries of the world. Every year, 1500-3000 Esperanto speakers meet for the World Congress of Esperanto (Universala Kongreso de Esperanto).

Esperanto culture has a special word, krokodili ("to crocodile", coming from the fact that crocodiles have a small brain and a big mouth), to describe what is considered the inappropriate use of national languages at Esperanto meetings. "Crocodiling" is considered rude because it excludes people from a conversation when they all could be speaking Esperanto instead. It is usually however accepted from beginners of the language since the essential goal of Esperanto is improving international communication.

On December 15 (L. L. Zamenhof's birthday), Esperanto speakers around the world celebrate Zamenhof Day, sometimes relabelled Esperanto Book Day, which might easily turn into World Esperanto Day in the future.

The poem La Espero is generally considered to be the Esperanto anthem. It speaks of the achievement of world peace, "sacred harmony" and "eternal blessing" on the basis of a neutral language. Nonetheless Esperanto speakers may or may not agree whether the stated benefits could in fact be achieved in this way. At the first Esperanto congress, in Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1905, a declaration was made which defined an "Esperantist" merely as one who knows and uses the language "regardless of what kind of aims he uses it for", and which also specifically declared any ideal beyond the spread of the language itself to be a private matter for the individual speaker.

See also

The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy