Esperanto Lives!

(Hey, I posted the design files for the 3D printed Esperanto Jubilee cookie cutters.)
Saluton amikoj!

Jubilee Cookies and Frosted Green Stars!

Esperanto has two main symbols–the green five-pointed star, which is on the flag, and the Jubilee symbol, and at least one holiday.  Esperanto Day is December 15th, and this year, I designed and 3D printed a Jubilee cookie cutter!

Jubilee cookie and unfrosted stars

I hadn’t ever designed a cookie cutter with indents in the middle before, but they turned out pretty well!  Next year, I think I’ll get some cookie cutters made with a food-safe process, so I feel comfortable giving them to other people.

Jubilee cookies, ready to be baked.

This year for Esperanto Day, people are asking that Esperanto speakers post that #EsperantoLives!  (So I am!)

Evildea is a relatively famous Esperanto YouTuber, and he made an #EsperantoLives post today.  Watch it!

 

“Wait, wait,” you say.  “You can’t just show us cookies without giving us a poorly edited high-school style essay about Esperanto.”  Fine.  If you ask for it…


 

Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world.  It was initially created by L. L Zamenhof in the 1880s, and was released to the world through the first book “Unua Libro” on July 26th, 1887.  His goal was to create an easy-to-learn, politically neutral second language to help bring about peace and understanding between different people around the world.

I am skeptical it will bring about world peace, but it’s definitely an easy language to learn for native speakers of many different languages, and not a difficult one for most anyone.  Some studies have been done that showed that learning Esperanto before learning another language, like French, increased how well you learned French, at a greater rate than just studying French the whole time.

I started learning Esperanto about four months ago, through Duolingo, an online language learning tool.  It is a pretty good way to start to learn Esperanto.  I spent about an hour a day learning for the first few days, and now spend about twenty minutes a day.  I tweet sometimes about Esperanto things, or in Esperanto, at @adamo_esperanto.

Esperanto Jubilee Symbol
Jubilee!

Like I mentioned earlier, Esperanto has two main symbols–the green five-pointed star, which is on the flag, and the Jubilee symbol.  The Jubilee symbol, a Latin E and a Cyrilic Э smooshed together, was created at the 100th anniversary of Esperanto.  This was 1987, during the Cold War, and the two symbols that begin the word Esperanto in English and Russian were to represent the joining of the East and West.

Esperanto also has a holiday, Esperanto Day, on December 15th.  This was Zamenhof’s birthday.  (Coincidentally, it’s suitably close to the solstice and many other holidays.)  Many Esperanto speakers buy an extra book in Esperanto and get together with other Esperanto speakers.  I made cookies with a custom cookie cutter, above.

It puzzles me that some people react with anger and frustration when they find out I am learning Esperanto.  It’s certainly no less useful or entertaining than spending the equivalent time watching TV or dinking around on Facebook, but I have had people genuinely get angry with me for learning Esperanto.  Today, however, it is safe in most of the world to speak Esperanto, which hasn’t always been the case.  Many of the political regimes of the 20th century actively hunted down and killed Esperanto speakers.  Others simply marked Esperanto speakers as spies or political criminals.

Since the 1960s, there has been a couch-surfing program, Pasaporta Servo, for people who speak Esperanto. Many people alive today who grew up speaking Esperanto talk about how fun it was when someone from “Esperantoland” stayed for a night or two.

There are some native speakers who grew up speaking Esperanto, and some of them had children who grew up speaking Esperanto, and there are even a few cases of third generation native Esperanto speakers. (There aren’t any people I could find who grew up speaking exclusively Esperanto.)

There’s a good body of Esperanto literature.  William Auld, a pretty awesome poet, was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature for pieces in Esperanto.

Phew!  Feel free to ask me more about Esperanto or head over to Duolingo or lernu.net (they’re both free!) and join us!

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