On September 12th and 13th, the tenth anniversary of Uiquipedia, the Asturian language Wikipedia, was celebrated in the Prince Felipe Auditorium Oviedo in Oviedo, Spain. It was a special event because after ten years, this community is in a process of improvement and setting goals to give the final push to the project.
The event began on Friday the 12th with a welcome by Xuacu Saturio, administrator and technical ambassador of Asturian Wikipedia, who provided a brief review of the past decade. It was followed by a talk titled “Wikipedia: what, who, how,” an approach to how the project is run. This was useful to those present in the studio editing during the rest of the afternoon.
The following day, Saturday, had two premises. First, Asturian Wikipedians were convinced that literature in this language, along with its writers, are pieces of heritage to document in this encyclopedia and to disseminate for public consumption. On the other hand, they wanted to provide a broader perspective of the language, attending more to the linguistic domain. In fact, there was a tribute given to Leonese writer Caitano Bardón (Carrizo, 1881-1924), the author of “Stories in Leonese dialect” who pioneered Asturian-Lionese literature in León.
The act began with the music of Fran Allegre, who continued playing with different traditional instruments from León. Alberto Flecha, expert on Caitano and a fellow native of Carrizo, talked about the writer and gave a short summary of the meaning of his work. Then, in collaboration with the Faceira Association and the literary collective Fame Poetika, several poems from Caitano and other authors were read in Asturian.
The second act of the event consisted of a simple presentation on the WikiProject “Sport in Asturias”, by Denis Soria. He emphasized the need to standardize the linguistic register of Wikipedia itself, as well as the importance of WikiProjects organizing the editing of articles. He went on to summarize the challenges and logical errors in the early years. Soria also discussed the need to address common objectives for the community with the intention of standardizing the image of the encyclopedia, arrange interaction strategies with society, and make it grow in the near future.
Much of the roundtable focused on the role that the media – especially on the Internet – and the work of Wikipedia play in energizing and reinforcing the attitudes of speakers from each territory of the linguistic domain.
There were some very special guests, including David Melendi (Professor of Telematics Engineering Area, University of Oviedo), José Ignacio Suarez (Professor of Musicology at the University of Oviedo and member of Faceira), Nicanor Garcia (computerization of Musel Port Authority, also a member of Faceira), Pablo Rodriguez Guardado (Asturies.com editor), Pelayu Valduvieco (student of Romance Philology at the University of Oviedo and developer of various translation projects), Xuacu Saturio (administrator and technician ambassador in Asturian Wikipedia) and Denis Soria (administrator on Wikipedia). Topics that were addressed included the challenges in encoding and linguistic standardization in the media, and recovery policy pertaining to different territories with presence of native speakers. It was a very fruitful discussion, and arguably the participants left a very high standard, holding the attention of the audience throughout the discussion. After the gathering ended, a series of books were distributed among the attendees, donated by the publishers Asturtoons, Ediciones Trabe, Hércules Ediciones, Librería Cervantes and Ediciones Nobel.
We finished the event with a meet-and-greet meal among all participants, courtesy of the city council, who also gave the auditorium space. The Asturian Wikipedia community expressed thanks for the work and organization by members of Wikimedia Spain, from whom the initiative was conceived and made the anniversary celebration possible. Similarly, they moved the commitment to schedule future activities inside and outside of the tenth anniversary.
Rubén Ojeda, miembro de Wikimedia España