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88th annual Brita Kongreso draws to a close

Plinston Hall, the main Congress Hall

Monday, May 7, 2007

The 88th annual Brita Kongreso (British Congress) in Letchworth, England drew to an official close, Sunday, after a weekend of presentations, courses, lectures, and activities in Esperanto. With the final excursion to Cambridge (town of the Third Universal Esperanto Congress in 1907) taking place on Monday, the event will draw to a final close at the end of today.

The Brita Kongreso is an opportunity for Esperantists the world over to convene and spend the weekend being entertained, lectured, and socialising with other Esperantists in a relaxed atmosphere. This year, it was also host to a Guinness World Record attempt by French musician Jean-Marc Leclercq, a.k.a. jOmO, who successfully sang 25 songs in 25 different languages in an open air concert on Saturday, before providing evening entertainment within the main venue, Plinston Hall.

Activities

 
Lecture in progress

The weekend was host to a number of activities for both newcomers to the language, as well as fluent and native speakers. A number of interesting lectures were provided covering a wide range of topics, from discussing Hidden messages in children's books to African activities, demonstrations of martial arts, as well as the holding of Annual General Meetings for the Esperanto-Asocio de Britio (Esperanto Association of Britain) and the Junularo Esperantista Brita (Young British Esperantists) organisations.

Beginners were invited to a small gathering in the Green Room, a small conference area, on Sunday where they enjoyed speaking with other newcomers and more advanced speakers in a relaxed environment over a game of Happy Families. Helpers were available all weekend for those who were new to the language, although many of the lectures given were accessible to all.

Social Activities

 
Esperantists dancing

All attendees were provided with a numbered name badge, which allowed for identification and ease of communication between those who had not met before. The bar inside the main hall and the snack area in the Green Room were popular areas for socialising with other Esperantists, and trips to local pubs were not uncommon throughout the weekend. Many Esperantists also slept in the same hotels and ate meals in the same places, making for a very sociable event throughout the town, as well as the event.

Communication between the participants was primarily in Esperanto, however English was used in the AGMs. Visitors from other countries were, thus, able to participate in the events and communicate with others with ease by using Esperanto.

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.