15 December is the anniversary of the birth of L. L. Zamenhof (1859-1917), the creator of the international language Esperanto. Following the initiative of one of the most important creative writers using Esperanton, the Hungarian Julio Baghy (1891-1967), the Esperanto speakers throughout the world also celebrate that day as the day of Esperanto culture. With a view to raising the cultural level of Esperanto speakers, Baghy proposed that Zamenhof Day should also be Esperanto Book Day.
On 15 December local groups of Esperanto speakers in various countries arrange information sessions and cultural events for the general public relating to the international language and its abundant literature, both original and translated. They thus show the world how the Esperanto movement promotes the cultural works of various peoples, creating an opportunity to enjoy the works of other peoples with different languages, using Esperanto as a bridge to overcome language diversity.
Zamenhof Day/Esperanto Book Day is thus Esperanto speakers' contribution to supporting fair, egalitarian communication which respects linguistic and cultural diversity and strives for sustainable preservation of those riches and rights.
Besides the organisation of meetings, events, exhibitions and talks relating to the initiator of the international language Esperanto, L. L. Zamenhof, the day is a celebration of Esperanto culture and literature through the presentation of newly published works, book sales and readings of new books. Works translated from an Esperanto original have apppeared in various languages, others have appeared in local langauges as translations from an Esperanto version of an original in another language. With Esperanto it is possible to ensure maximum fidelity in the translation of texts and the transmissions of idea, as Esperanto acts as an even-handed bridge between two ethnic languages.
ZPI, information department of the World Esperanto Association (UEA).
English translation from Esperanto: Brian Moon
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