Produced at the 36th Internacia Junulara Kongreso by (primarily) Jouko Lindstedt and Giorgio Silfer, the Rauma Manifesto criticized what it considered to be the traditional goals of the Esperanto movement and argued for a change in focus -- instead of just trying to convince others to learn Esperanto, Esperantists should participate in and develop the culture and value of the language.

As it happens, this brilliant, daring idea is nothing new—Esperanto's first speaker translated literature into the language as well as writing poetry and prose, and many others have followed. Nonetheless the Manifesto tries to present itself as somehow rebelling against the mainstream Esperanto community. In so doing, it accuses "mainstream" Esperantists explicitly of believing that "English is our enemy", and implicitly of believing that Esperanto would be officially accepted in the 1980s, even though few people at the time appear to have thought either of these things. The psychologist and translator Claude Piron notes a general tendency in the document towards setting up false divisions: Esperantists versus non-Esperantists, raumistoj (followers of the Manifesto) versus other Esperantists, the desire to spread the language versus the desire to use the language.

All this nonsense makes it very difficult to see the basic idea underlying the Manifesto, which seems to me reassuring rather than rebellious. As far as I can tell it is this: that the Esperanto movement is worthwhile in and of itself; that the fina venko, that mythical time when the whole world will accept Esperanto as a second language, is not necessary to validate what we already enjoy.

Or, as one American Esperantist put it: "The good news is that Esperanto has already succeeded. The bad news is that the Esperantists haven't noticed yet."


Manifesto de Raumo

Chi tiu dokumento ricevas la nomon de la urbo, en Finnlando, kie oni debatis, okaze de la 36a Internacia Junulara Kongreso (1980 07 25 / 08 01), la temon "Esperanto en la 80aj jaroj: celoj kaj metodoj".

This document takes the name of the city in Finland where the theme "Esperanto in the 80s: goals and methods" was debated during the 36th Internacia Junulara Kongreso (25 July - 1 August 1980).

Ghi ankorau ne esprimas la oficialan opinion de TEJO kiel organizo, sed nur de tiuj, individuoj kaj grupoj, kiuj subskribis au subskribos ghin. La originalo de la Manifesto trovighas che FEJO (Finnlanda Esperantista Junulara Organizo), kiu akceptas eventualajn alighojn en skriba formo ghis 1980 12 31.

It does not yet express the official opinion of TEJO as an organization, but only the opinions of those individuals and groups who signed or will sign it. The original copy of the Manifesto can be found at FEJO (Finnish Organization of Young Esperantists), which will accept undersignings in written form until 31 December 1980.

FEJO, che s-ro B.Holmberg, Arentikuja 1 B 253, SF-00410 Helsinki 41, Finnlando.

FEJO, c/o Mr. B. Holmberg, Arentikuja 1 B 253, SF-00410 Helsinki 41, Finland.

1. Krizo de identeco

La subskribintoj konstatis kontraudiron en la sinteno de la esperantistaro, kvazau konflikton inter idea superegoo kaj egoo: nia superegoo igas nin prediki al la aliaj homoj pri kelkaj mitoj - la dua lingvo por chiu / la angla lingvo estas nia malamiko / UNO devas adopti Esperanton, ktp - kaj laudegi la lingvon ech neobjektive okaze de intervjuo; samtempe, inter ni, ni ghuas kaj aplikas Esperanton lau tio kio ghi efektive estas, sendepende de la pracelaj sloganoj. Tio ja estas krizo de identeco, kaj ni sentas la neceson motivi nian esperantistecon per io pli kohera.

1. Identity crisis

The undersigned have noted a contradiction in the behaviour of the Esperantist community, like a conflict between superego and ego: our superego causes us to preach myths to others—the second language for everyone, English is our enemy, the UN must adopt Esperanto, and so on—and praise the language in interviews even to the point of losing objectivity; at the same time, amongst ourselves we enjoy and use Esperanto based on what it really is, regardless of the ancient slogans. This is indeed an identity crisis, and we feel the need to motivate our esperantisteco (the state of being an Esperantist —ed.) by something more coherent.

2. Kritiko de praceloj

Ni kredas ke:

a) la oficialigo de Esperanto estas nek vershajna nek esenca dum la 80aj jaroj - oni havu alternativajn celojn;

b) la faligo de la angla lingvo estas nek tasko nek zorgo de la esperantistoj: finfine la angla rolas nur kiel helplingvo, analoge al la franca siatempe (ech malpli grave ol iam la franca mem); Zamenhof neniam proponis al la E-movado kiel celon kontraustari la francan, char por Esperanto li antauvidis pli valoran alternativan rolon.

2. Criticism of ancient goals

We believe that:

a) It is neither likely nor essential for Esperanto to be made official in the 80s—we should have alternate goals;

b) Causing the downfall of English is neither a task of nor a concern for Esperantists; English plays a role only as an auxiliary language, as French did in its time (it is even less important than French itself used to be). Zamenhof never proposed fighting French as a goal for the Esperanto movement, because for Esperanto he saw a more valuable alternative role.

3. Niaj celoj

Ni celas disvastigi Esperanton por pli kaj pli, iom post iom realigi ghiajn pozitivajn valorojn:

a) propedeutiko por lingvoinstruado;

b) kontaktoj inter ordinaraj homoj;

c) kontaktoj sendiskriminaciaj;

ch) novtipa internacia kulturo.

Lige kun la lasta valoro, ni emfazas ke la serchado de propra identeco igis nin koncepti esperantistecon kvazau la aparteno al mem elektita diaspora lingva minoritato. La kresko de niaj fortoj kaj la aligho de novaj homoj estas nepre kondichitaj de la konsciigho pri tiuj chi valoroj.

3. Our goals

Our goal is to spread Esperanto, in order more and more, little by little to realize its positive values:

a) An aid to language instruction;

b) Contact between ordinary people;

c) Contact without discrimination;

d) A new kind of international culture.

With respect to this last value, we emphasize that the search for an identity of our own made us conceive of esperantisteco as almost like belonging to a self-selected, diasporic, linguistic minority. The growth of our strengths and the membership of new people absolutely requires awareness of these values.

4. La kongresoj kiel vojo al kresko

Internaciaj kongresoj kaj renkontighoj estas esencaj por la asimiligho de homoj al nia lingva komunumo: necesas unuflanke kongresi pli ofte inter ni, kaj rezervi la kunsidadon de gvidorganoj al apartaj funkciulaj kunvenoj, lau la modelo de la TEJO-seminario en Strasburgo (junio 1980), kaj aliflanke necesas fortigi la uzon de E-o kiel laborlingvo en fakaj konferencoj internaciaj, lau la modelo de la Freinet-instruistoj.

4. The congresses as a path to growth

International congresses and meetings are essential for making people a part of our language community: on the one hand it is necessary to hold congresses more often amongst ourselves, and hold the meetings of guiding organs in separate conventions, according to the model of the TEJO seminar in Strasbourg (June 1980); and on the other hand it is necessary to strengthen the use of Esperanto as a working language in international specialist conferences, according to the model of the Freinet teachers.

5. Ni kredas ke la unua jarcento de Esperanto pruvis la taugecon de la lingvo por esprimi chion; meze de la 80aj jaroj, komence de la dua jarcento, ni devos ekmontri al la mondo ke ni kapablas ankau diri ion - ion kulture originalan kaj internacie valoran.

5. We believe that the first century of Esperanto has proven the ability of the language to express everything; in the mid-80s, at the start of the second century, we must show the world that we are also capable of saying something - something culturally original and internationally valuable.


Sources:

  • Manifesto de Raumo. http://www.rano.org/rauxmo.html
  • Kien esperanto?, Claude PIRON. http://www.helsinki.fi/~jslindst/piron_raumo.html
  • Translation mine.

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