Friday, November 17, 2006


(The following from is written by Phil Dorcas, president of the Esperanto League of North America or ELNA. I am reprinting it here because I agree with it 100 % and hope you will take it to heart.)

Border Crimes

There was a lot of noise in the media recently during the election campaigns about border crimes. Politicians spoke long and hard about border crimes, what they are, and what to do about them. I could only listen to the campaigns for a while before I stopped listening or reading. The issue is perhaps hotter here in Texas than in some other states.

The issue comes at a time when most people are thinking about building fences, creating more barriers between countries. And the politicians are trying to solve a legal problem that touches society in many ways.

However, there are other “border crimes.”

These crimes are violations that we Esperanto speakers commit. Yes, I am accusing us. We are guilty. We have our own border problem in Esperantland.

Some people think about the crime of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. I’m thinking about the opposite problem, about not crossing the border when we should.

We have international borders available to us as Esperantists that we do not cross sufficiently often. In our conversations among ourselves, in our conversations with others, in our meetings, in our planning, and even in our thinking, we do not consider using Esperanto as it is intended.

Esperanto is an international language. We should use it internationally.

We should always try to give our club meetings a sense of “internationality.” We should report on international activities, international pen-pals, international news, international friendships, and any other kind of international actions that come to mind.

We should personally seek out international friendships and build the bridges that Esperanto enables us to build.

Imagine what a non-Esperanto speaker thinks when they observe us acting as we did before we came to know Esperanto, and Esperanto has had no effect on our lives. Imagine what they think of their visit to an Esperanto club, if there is no report on an international event, no literature by a writer in another country, or nobody mentioning a pen-pal across the sea. We might as well just speak English and be done with it.

If Esperanto has had an effect on us, it should be readily apparent. International connections should be at the forefront of our thinking and on the tips of our tongues. Our non-Esperanto friends and co-workers should be firmly aware that we are Esperanto speakers, and as such have international friends, connections, and activities. They should know that we can read Monato, Esperanto, Juna Amiko, or Literatura Foiro just like they read Time, People, or The Atlantic Monthly.

Give feet to the language.

Esperanto is sufficiently beneficial to sell itself, but we should show it in the best light for the best opportunities. It should be apparent, visible, paraded, put under the spotlight, and reported to the non-Esperanto speaking America.

We should cross the international borders, those barriers that divide countries, cultures, and classes. We can increase the world’s human inter-understanding for the betterment of mankind. And we can do that regardless of the level of our personal Esperanto abilities.

To do less is a border crime.

- filipo
president, ELNA


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kara Riĉo,

Dankon pro la tre interesa artikolo. Mi tute samopinias. Mi memoras kiam mi ankoraŭ vizitis lokajn kunvenojn. Preskaŭ ĉiam la kunvenantoj estis samlandanoj kiuj nur priparolis la lokajn novaĵojn. Mi ĉesis viziti ĉi tiujn kunvenojn ĉar mi opiniis ke ili estis preskaŭ senvaloraj por mi. Ili nur taŭgis iom por praktiki esperanto-paroladon. Mi multe pli ŝatas komuniki internacie per interreto kaj epoŝto; bedaŭrinde ne estas facile komuniki voĉe per interreto.


3:13 PM  

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