Esperanto is a synthetic international language with speakers around the world. This year Panevėžys hosted representatives from over 30 countries, more than 400 people from Japan, China, the EU, the Baltic states and elsewhere. Lithuanian Esperanto Union director Povilas Jegerovas praised the warm welcome Esperanto enthusiasts received in the northern Lithuanian city and noted the Esperanto congress was being held to mark Esperanto Days in the Baltic region.
A number of Lithuanian politicians and public figures sent statements to be read at the event, including EU commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Lithuanian parliamentary speaker Viktoras Pranckietis, foreign minister Linas Linkevičius and minister of culture Dr. Mindaugas Kvietkauskas. Lithuanian MP Povilas Urbšys personally attended and welcomed participants, noting the 160th birthday of Esperanto inventor Ludvik Zamenhof was coming up this December 15. Urbšys said the idea of a universal language is worthy of attention and Esperanto unites people and facilitates understanding around the world. As the world currently undergoes polarization with various new conflicts arising, Esperanto is needed more than ever, he said, calling it a language of peace and saying the audience were people of peace.
Esperanto Days are being marked from July 5 to 14. The Panevėžys Jewish Community will hold meetings with and receptions for participants during the Esperanto congress.
Zamenhof monument in Veisiejai, Lithuania