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Esperanto culture

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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, 1500-3000 Esperanto speakers meet for the World Congress of Esperanto (Universala Kongreso de Esperanto).

Literature, music and film

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" [1] (http://www.esperanto-usa.org/epss.html), but written by local correspondants. A magazine for the blind, Aŭroro, has been published since 1920.

Esperanto can be heard in 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, and Radio Vatican.

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 Incubus, starring William Shatner. Several shorter films have been produced since. As of July 2003, the Esperanto wiki lists (http://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto-filmo) 14 films and 3 short films.

Cultural community

There are cultural commonalities between Esperanto speakers, which is a distinctive feature of a cultural community. Esperanto was created to foster universal understanding, brotherhood, 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 extend 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 is good reasons for its use (Esperanto culture has a special word, krokodili ("to crocodile"), to describe this avoided behaviour). On the other hand, some aspects of shared traditions normally found in cultural communities, like clothing and cooking, aren't found in the Esperanto community.

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

es:Cultura esperantista eo:Esperanto-kulturo fr:Culture espérantiste pl:Kultura esperanto

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