Travelling with Pasporta Servo

Travel is the best teacher, that we all acknowledge. Sinjoro Eng explains how we can learn more through travel with Esperanto.

What is the most expensive expenditure when you are travelling overseas ?

Lodging fees.

Right. Many people replied as such when I interviewed them.

Can we save some travelling expenditure during our journey ?

Yes, the answer is certain. Not only we can save some travelling expenditure on lodging, we can also make more friends, and the best thing is we can get gain a better understanding of the cultures of the people whom we are connecting with.

Esperanto speakers have started this travelling event long before the 2nd World War and certainly long before couchsurfing. The introduction of Pasporta Servo only occured in 1974, offering better organisation and easier management.

If your memory does not fail you, you should remember the incident of an Arabic word claimed only to be used by a certain group of people. Do you think the person in charge of pronouncing the ban on the word from being used by others is well-travelled? Certainly not, he/she might be flying 1st class on airplanes and staying in five-star hotels. But he/she did not enter a local’s home to know what is served at breakfast on the ordinary person’s table.

How ignorant this person is, such that he/she did not know that a tribal word cannot apply for patent rights. This has shamed me a lot as my friends were curious to know whether they can make the letter ‘I’ be the right of the group only.

I like the poem Si Tenganggang’s Home Coming by Muhamad Haji Salleh.

the journey was a loyal teacher

who was never tardy

in explaining cultures or variousness

The poet even put the I as a small letter ‘i’ to express his humbleness.

When one travels but not as a tourist, the journey would change his/her perspective of life. The people he/she meets on the way would be teachers of life.

Now, if our country can introduce Esperanto in the school system, not only we can host more people in our beautiful country, but our youngsters can also travel far and wide. When they return home, they would have become a different person.

Here’s a video explaining how Esperanto and the Pasport Servo system functions to facilitate travel:


The year-end school holidays are round the corner. So make yourself a time table and start to learn Esperanto, either online or in groups. The coming spring, you maybe in Terni, Japan for the Internacia Junalo Kongreso (Esperanto International Youth Congress). Don’t forget the biggest event of International Esperanto Congree (UK) which will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from the 28th of July to the 4th of August in 2012. Besides, the world-wide Esperanto written test will be held on the 9th of June, 2012.

Allow me to end with the celebrated poem of Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

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After watching the 8 minutes short film of the late Dr Claude Piron on the chanllenge of language, Sinjoro ENG has himself revolutionised. Watch it and see whether the short film will touch you too.

Posted on 21 November 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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