Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Cai Yuanpei (Part One)

Author: David Poulson
Published on: December 1, 2000

Introductory note for new visitors to the Esperanto Topic.

If you have only just begun to take an interest in Esperanto and wish to know some basic information about this fascinating subject, please start your reading at the first article of this series. Having already completed 71 articles, I am now at the stage of writing articles for those readers who have learned quite a lot about the Esperanto language and movement already, and who are now wanting to find out more than just the basic introductory information. To get to the beginning of this series

After you have read the first article, click on the link at the top of the page which says "Articles" to find the rest of the series, which is listed in reverse chronological order. ________________________________________________________

CAI YUANPEI AND ESPERANTO

Cai Yuanpei (T'sai Yuan-pei: 1868-1940) went to Germany in 1907 when he was already middle-aged and he studied there until 1911. One of the subjects he studied was Esperanto and he absorbed and fully supported ?la interna ideo? of the International Language. In fact, his admiration for the philosophy of Dr Zamenhof never faltered during his whole life. While in Germany, Cai is said to have ?supported? ( perhaps by writing for it?) a progressive journal written in Chinese and published in Paris. The name of this journal was Modern (or New) Times and it frequently contained articles about Esperanto. Because this weekly journal was read in radical circles in China itself, it provided many Chinese with their first introduction to Esperanto.

When the revolution which was to displace the Manchu dynasty exploded in 1911, Cai returned to China. In Nanking, Sun Yat Sen was appointed provisional President of the Republic of China in 1912, and he made Cai Yuan Pei the Minister of Education. One of Cai?s first reforms was an instruction to Teachers? Colleges throughout the country to offer elective (ie non-compulsory) courses in Esperanto so that a new generation of teachers would be able to learn - or, at least, to learn about - Esperanto. Cai also arranged for an Esperanto course to be run within the Ministry of Education itself.

In that same year of 1912, he made a speech to the Shanghai Esperanto Asssociation in which he explained the importance of Esperanto to a country such as China. He wrote:

?The Chinese language is very different from Western languages. However, it is essential for China, at this point in its history, to establish communication with other countries so that it can learn from them. In order for that to happen, China needs an auxiliary language and Esperanto is the most suitable. If may Chinese knew Esperanto, then any foreigner wishing to come to China would only need to learn that language. And that would increase the number of Esperantists in the world and help to propagate the language, as is our duty...It is much harder for Chinese people to learn other languages than it is for Westerners. However, once we have learned one European language, then we are no different from a Westerner who wishes to learn another language. If that first language we learn is Esperanto, it will definitely help us to learn other European languages.?

Cai then proposed to the Shanghai Esperanto Association that they found an Esperanto library and a private university. The library would reveal to Chinese people the large amount of material available in the Esperanto language, while the university could be used for pilot studies to determine just how well courses in the social and natural sciences could be taught in Esperanto.

In 1917, Cai became the Director of Peking Universty where he founded an elective Esperanto course within the Faculty of Chinese Language Studies. In 1921 Esperanto became an approved course of study. Cai was very active in his support for Esperanto during that year. He attended the Seventh National Educational Conference in China and he was the Chinese delegate at the Pacific Educational Conference in Honolulu. At both conferences he succeeded in getting resolutions adopted agreeing to the introduction of Esperanto classes in schools. Nothing really came of these resolutions except to increase national and international awareness of Esperanto.

Cai?s most effective initiative in 1921 was his inspired idea to bring the Russian poet Eroshenko to China to teach Esperanto at Peking University. I will have more to say about Eroshenko in my next article and will continue my summary of the work and achievements of Cai Yuanpei.

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PRI TUTKOMUNA LINGVO
PRI RUSA LINGVO
PRI ANGLA LINGVO
PRI ALIAJ NACIAJ LINGVOJ
BATALO DE LINGVOJ
ARTIKOLOJ PRI ESPERANTO
"" PRI "KONKURENTOJ" DE ESPERANTO
LECIONOJ DE ESPERANTO
.KONSULTOJ DE E-INSTRUISTOJ
ESPERANTOLOGIO KAJ INTERLINGVISTIKO
TRADUKO DE MALSIMPLAJ FRAZOJ
TRADUKOJ DE DIVERSAJ VERKOJ
FRAZEOLOGIO DE ESPERANTO
, . VERKOJ DE ZAMENHOF KAJ PRI LI
, PROKSIMAJ MOVADOJ
ELSTARAJ PERSONOJ KAJ ESPERANTO
PRI ELSTARAJ ESPERANTISTOJ
. EL HISTORIO DE RUSIA E-MOVADO
KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
ESPERANTO EN LITERATURO
. KIAL E-MOVADO NE PROGRESAS
HUMURO PRI KAJ EN ESPERANTO
- ESPERANTO POR INFANOJ
DIVERSAJHOJ
INTERESAJHOJ
PERSONAJHOJ
/ DEMANDARO / RESPONDARO
UTILAJ LIGILOJ
IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
PAGHOJ TUTE EN ESPERANTO
NIA BIBLIOTEKO


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