Montreal: World Esperanto Capital in 2020!
From 1st to the 8th of August, Montreal will host, for the first time ever, the World Esperanto Congress (Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, 1201 René-Lévesque Blvd W, Montreal, QC H3B 2L7) – the 105th edition of this annual event. Held for the first time in France in 1905, the World Esperanto Congress is the largest and most important annual gathering of Esperantists from around the world. These congresses gather from 500 to 6000 people (depending on the city and year) and allow the participants to exchange their experiences, attend conferences, present their cultures, discover the host country and discover the host culture through music, dance, theatre and cinema.
In 2020, it will be 36 years since the World Congress was last held in Canada (Vancouver, 1984) and 110 years since it was held on the East Coast of North America (Washington DC, 1910).
Even if the participants come from dozens of countries, they do not need interpreters, because they all communicate in Esperanto! This planned language was first developed by Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof, a doctor of Jewish origin living in what is now Poland, and published in 1887. Dr. Zamenhof’s goal was to offer mankind a neutral language that is also easy to learn and that also facilitates fair communication between people of different languages and cultures.
Despite the two world wars and even persecutions against Esperantists, this language has been actively used by a growing global community of speakers for more than 130 years. Esperantists meet regularly through a number of of local, regional and international cultural Esperanto events. Esperanto also has a rich culture, featuring all varieties of music, theatre, literature (both original and translated). There are even international families who use Esperanto as a common language.
Currently, Esperanto is experiencing a period of rapid growth thanks to the Internet, which not only allows for easier international contacts, but also offers online courses, online literature and even apps to find other Esperantists nearby!