ITALY, 29 august 2023 (TATOLI) – Two Timorese participants attended the 108th World Congress and the 79th International Congress of Youth Esperantists in the cities of Turin and Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, from July 29 to August 12, 2023, 2023. The theme of the congress was “Migration Confluence of Human Values” in Esperanto, emphasizing the importance of human values in the context of migration.
These global and youth congresses aim to facilitate sharing and mutual understanding among Esperantists from around the world with diverse cultures. The events focus on promoting the Esperanto language and its movement across nations. The opening of the congress was officiated by Duncan Charters, the President of UEA (Universal Esperanto Association), who emphasized the value of human service to unique communities as the central message of the 2023 congress.
Charters called upon global institutions like the United Nations to recognize the historical value of migration and support migrants, emphasizing that migration is fundamental to human development. He stressed the need to combat discrimination against human values and migrants through conscious social policies and unity against discrimination.
The Esperanto congress program takes place annually in various countries across continents like Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. In 2023, Italy hosted the congress, with participants from 69 countries, including Timor-Leste. The Timorese representatives, Mateus de Sena and Teodosia dos Reis Ximenes attended the congress from July 29 to August 12, 2023, in Italy.
During the event, participants engaged in various programs such as intermediate-level Esperanto sessions, Esperanto movement discussions, and exploration of Italian culture. The congress also allowed interactions with other Esperantists from different countries, creating opportunities for cultural exchange and learning.
The congress offered a platform for showcasing Esperanto-related activities in Timor-Leste, such as volunteer work within the international Youth Esperanto organization and traditional Timorese dance performances. The event facilitated connections between Esperantists, including those from Timor-Leste, encouraging dialogue and collaboration.
Representatives from Timor-Leste expressed their enthusiasm for participating in such global events, allowing them to connect with Esperantists from diverse linguistic backgrounds and cultures. They saw the congress as an opportunity to showcase Timorese culture and expand their knowledge of the Esperanto movement.
“My impression during the congress is that I feel content because I can meet new Esperantists who come from various nations around the world and can interact well with them, and learn their culture together. Furthermore, I also learned about the Esperanto movement in our country and increased my knowledge of the Esperanto language through daily conversations and also explored the city of Italy through the ‘Eskurso’ program,” said Mateus de Sena.
Sena explained that during their participation in the congress, various programs were attended by the two Timorese participants, including a fair, Esperanto language discussions, and other programs. “During my participation in this congress, I also took part in various programs presented by other Esperantists, such as sessions on speaking Esperanto at an intermediate level, the Esperanto movement fair, discussions about Italian history, global climate issues, Erasmus+ intercultural activities, vegetarianism, an oratory competition, learning the Italian language, and learning a new sport called Tchoukball,” he explained.
“I am also very happy because my small contribution during this congress supported the Esperanto football team and helped the Esperanto team win the game. Thus, Teodosia dos Reis felt content even though she had just started learning Esperanto this year, She got an opportunity to participate in big events like the World Congress and the Youth Esperanto Congress,” said Sena.
“For the first time, I participated in an International-level congress, and I feel very proud. I learned a lot from this congress, and one thing I gained was the ability to speak basic Esperanto. So now I can converse with other Esperantists, nearly all of whom come from various nations that Timor has yet to become familiar with. We introduce Timor verbally and also present Timor’s culture in international events such as the SURU BOEK dance, which combines cultural art with our accessories used to introduce our country to the Esperantists in this congress,” said Teodosia dos Reis.
During the presentation of Timorese cultural dance, Esperantist Armox Alex from France stated that he was greatly attracted to Timorese traditional dance and expressed the hope to visit Timor-Leste in the future.
“I love Timor-Leste, I love your culture, your dance, and I really want to visit Timor-Leste,” said the enthusiastic French Esperantist.
Similarly, Brazilian Esperantist Luca also expressed his joy at meeting two Esperantists from Timor-Leste and expressed his hope of visiting Timor-Leste, a nation that speaks Portuguese in the Southeast Asia region.
“I feel very happy to meet people from various places here and especially meet two people from Timor-Leste, a country that speaks Portuguese like Brazil. I’m very interested in visiting Timor-Leste one day,” he said.
In addition to other international activities, the congress featured various cultural and linguistic workshops, fostering international cooperation and mutual learning. It emphasized the importance of linguistic diversity, understanding, and respect for human rights, ultimately promoting unity in diversity on a global scale.
The Esperantists from Beligia supported the two young Timoere with their airline tickets, accommodation, and food.
After these activities, it also provided an opportunity for two Timorese to present Esperanto activities in Timor, which are ongoing in Dili, including volunteer work in the World Esperanto Youth Organization during the congress.
The Esperanto movement in Timor-Leste continues to grow with around 30 active members who regularly participate in activities such as weekly Esperanto courses and meetings. The language, introduced in the late 19th century by L. L. Zamenhof from Poland, serves as an international auxiliary language to facilitate communication across cultures.
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges