Esperanto culture

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The language Esperanto is often used to access an international culture, including a large body of original as well as translated literature. 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, Esperanto speakers meet for the World Congress of Esperanto (Esperanto: Universala Kongreso de Esperanto). These attract around 1500–3000 speakers, and the best-attended conferences are regularly those held in Central or Eastern Europe, close to the birthplace of Esperanto (see statistics at World Congress of Esperanto).[1]

Literature, music and film[edit]

Every year, hundreds of new titles are published in Esperanto along with music. Also, many Esperanto newspapers and magazines exist.

Monato is a general news magazine "like a genuinely international Time or Newsweek", but written by local correspondents. A magazine for the blind, Aŭroro, has been published since 1920. “Esperanto” is the magazine used by the World Esperanto Association to inform its members about everything happening in the Esperanto community.

Esperanto can be heard in television and radio broadcasts and on the internet. There are currently radio broadcasts from China Radio International, Melbourne Ethnic Community Radio, Radio Habana Cuba, Radio Audizioni Italiane (Rai), Radio Polonia, Radio F.R.E.I. and Radio Vatican. Internacia Televido, an internet television channel, began broadcasting in November 2005.

Historically most of the music published in Esperanto has been in various folk traditions; in recent decades more rock and other modern genres has appeared.

In 1964, Jacques-Louis Mahé produced the first full-length feature film in Esperanto, entitled Angoroj. This was followed in 1965 by the first American Esperanto-production: Incubus, starring William Shatner. Several shorter films have been produced since. As of July 2003, the Esperanto-language Wikipedia lists 14 films and 3 short films.

The Serbian actor Sasha Pilipovic presents his cabaret at the World Esperanto Congress, Rotterdam 2008

In 2011, Academy Award-nominated director Sam Green (The Weather Underground), released a new documentary about Esperanto titled The Universal Language (La Universala Lingvo.) This 30-minute film traces the history of Esperanto.[2]

Cultural community[edit]

There are cultural commonalities between Esperanto speakers, which is a distinctive feature of a cultural community. Esperanto was created to foster universal understanding, solidarity and peace. A large proportion of the Esperanto movement continue to hold such goals, and most are at least sympathetic to them. Additionally, many Esperantists use the language as a window to the larger world, to meet people from other countries on an equal footing, and for travel. The Esperanto-community has a certain set of shared background knowledge.

To some extent there are also shared traditions, like the Zamenhof Day, and shared behaviour patterns, like avoiding the usage of one's national language at Esperanto meetings unless there are good reasons for its use (Esperanto culture has a special word, krokodili ("to crocodile"), to describe this avoided behaviour). On the other hand, it has been said that some aspects of shared traditions normally found in cultural communities, like clothing and cooking, aren't found in the Esperanto community. Not everyone would agree. Like other people, Esperanto speakers who are interested in cookery exchange and share recipes, both their own creations and their national and regional dishes. Various collections of such recipes have been published in book form in Esperanto, e.g. Internacie kuiri (“Cooking Internationally”) by Maria Becker-Meisberger, published by FEL (Flemish Esperanto League), Antwerp 1989, ISBN 90-71205-34-7, Manĝoj el sanigaj plantoj (“Healthy Vegetable Dishes”) by Zlata Nanić, published by BIO-ZRNO, Zagreb 2002, ISBN 953-97664-5-1. Sometimes at Esperanto gatherings, such original dishes as those devised by Zlatka Nanić can be sampled. Some Esperanto periodicals, such as MONATO include cookery items from time to time. As regards clothing, at every Universala Kongreso, held every year in a different country, many of those attending can been seen wearing their national or regional costumes.

Castle of Grésilion, an Esperantist cultural center in France.

On December 15 (L. L. Zamenhof's birthday), Esperanto speakers around the world celebrate Zamenhof Day, sometimes relabelled Esperanto Book Day.[citation needed]

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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Johnson: Simple, logical and doomed". 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Federico Fellini. "A different language is a different vision of life.". Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Ronald J. Glossop (4 August 2005). "THE CULTURE OF ESPERANTO". Retrieved 16 December 2014. 

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