Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Eroshenko in China. Part One

Author: David Poulson
Published on: January 26, 2001

I wrote at the end of my previous article that Hujucz met Eroshenko in Shanghai while the latter was working in a Japanese-owned massage parlour. That may have been a chance meeting, maybe not. According to another source, Eroshenko was invited to Shanghai by Hujucz to teach in the Esperanto school there. It doesn't really matter which version is correct because, invited there or not, Shanghai (which has been described as "the cradle of the Chinese Esperanto movement"), was obviously a place to which Eroshenko would be likely to go.

The first Shanghai Esperanto association was founded in 1908, and the following year the first Chinese Esperanto Association was created there. In 1912, the national association was re-organised and given a new name: the Esperanto Association of the Chinese Republic. A correspondence course in Esperanto was offered and one of the many Chinese who enrolled in it was Hujucz himself.

In March 1920, Hujucz, Bakin and others re-formed the Shanghai Esperanto Association, and organised conferences, Esperanto classes and a correspondence course. One of the most well-known and successful teachers was a very young enthusiast, Cxen Gxoujing, who used techniques similar to those developed by Andrea Cseh to make his classes more lively and interesting. (I have an article in preparation about the Cseh-method of language teaching, which has been so popular in the Esperanto movement).

I'm not sure just how proficient Cxen Gxoujing was himself in the Esperanto language: it's unlikely that he had an expert teacher himself. But one thing he did know very well was the thought and idealism of Zamenhof and he made very sure that all of his students learned about the 'inner idea' of Esperanto and Zamenhof's hopes that the international language which he had created would help to promote more peaceful international relations between people of different countries.

But these were difficult times in China and the costs of developing and maintaining this ambitious programme of activity could not be met. The Shanghai Esperanto Association was soon facing serious financial problems and had incurred some large debts, even though teachers like Cxen Gxoujing, who taught in his spare time after work, received no pay for his teaching. The arrival of Eroshenko, invited or not, provided a solution to these problems and turned out to be extremely beneficial, not only for the young Russian but for the struggling Chinese Esperanto movement.

Soon after his arrival, Eroshenko (who, we must remember, was a talented musician) gave a concert in Shanghai which turned out to be a great success. I wish I knew more details of this concert and would be glad if anyone could provide them. In any case, it was so profitable that the Shanghai Esperanto Association was able to pay off all of its debt and there was even enough left over to fund the purchase of many books and journals in Esperanto. The acquisition of that textual material in turn allowed the Chinese Esperantists to establish a bookshop and small Esperanto library in the city.

Eroshenko also began immediately to teach at the Esperanto school which had been founded the previous year and, no doubt, the mere fact that he was a Westerner was enough to make his classes much more attractive to the inhabitants of Shanghai. European teachers of English-language classes are in great demand in Asia even today (in fact, not long ago, the teacher's own inadequate knowledge of the English language, or his lack of teaching skills and experience, did not seem to matter to some of the more notorious language schools) and it is probable that the situation was very similar in 1921.

Of course, because Eroshenko was both a fluent Esperanto-speaker and, by now, an experienced and very talented teacher, he succeeded in retaining many of the students who initially enrolled out of curiosity, and his classes continued to be popular and to attract new students.

Indeed, as far as the Shanghai Esperanto Association was concerned, they turned out to be TOO popular and we will see why in my next article.

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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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