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New Year Esperanto Meetup 2024 in Taiwan

I felt very happy to meet my Esperantist friends again! This time we gathered in Pingtung City in southern Taiwan to celebrate together at the New Year Esperanto Meetup 2024. I also presented something to contribute some of my knowledge of language to the public. I saw not only Esperantists but also new faces who came to get to know Esperanto and its world.

People from 8 countries attended the meetup, they come from Iran, Taiwan, mainland China, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States, Canada, and Japan. A series of interesting lectures and presentations offered us a good atmosphere and friendship, proving that we belong to one large international family thanks to Esperanto. The good weather completed the success of our meetup. The weather in Pingtung City is always different from that of Taoyuan City, where I live.

Reza, who is the head of the Esperanto Association in Taiwan, found a good meetup venue near the Weifeng Hotel (about 2 minutes by foot) and a train station (about 7 minutes by foot). People who come by train can arrive easily and quickly. The meetup venue was in one new cafe, whose owner can speak English and Japanese well! I watched him speaking Japanese with our Japanese Esperantist. I hope he can learn Esperanto soon and make his cafe the first Esperanto cafe in Pingtung City or even in Taiwan!

Lectures and presentations

Reza from Iran opened the meetup with a brief speech of acceptance before presenting our movement in Taiwan and showed pictures and stories about some foreign Esperantists who visited Pingtung City.

Jerry from the United States, who works as a priest in Kaohsiung city taught us Esperanto sign language. Participants learned the alphabet through sign language enthusiastically. It was also the first time for some to get to know sign language.

Teddy (me) representing Indonesia, presented a lecture on Indonesian, dialects, and writing systems. I also compared the Indonesian language with Indonesian local languages ​​and Taiwanese indigenous languages. I was glad that participants eagerly watched and learned new things from my lecture.

Cheyenne from the United States, who works as a professor at a university in Taipei, has led one interesting game that uses Esperanto words. Participants played together with full energy and full of laughter.

Fabina from Xiamen City mainland China, led us to her hometown with a popular song called Waves of Gulangyu, which is already sung in Esperanto.

Not forgettable birthday surprise

Without my knowing, a paper with a message about my birthday surprise was passed among participants. Immediately after my lecture, the cafe was dark, and suddenly the owner of a cafe appeared from the kitchen holding a cake in his hand. All participants sang a birthday song together, took photos of me, and wished me all the best. I said out loud 2 wishes to everyone: may our Esperanto group in Taiwan grow more and may everyone gain success. Later, the owner cut the cake and I got my cake with a small flag of Esperanto above.

After the meetup, some of them stayed in Pingtung City for dinner together in a Korean restaurant. I left the meetup immediately because I had to take a train to return to Kaohsiung City and later, take the high-speed train to return to Taoyuan town. The trip by high-speed train between Kaohsiung and Taoyuan takes 1 hour and a half. I was glad to return home with good memories and the experience of meeting old friends and meeting new friends in the Esperanto community.


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