The Shanghai 2010 World Expo started today and is one of the most exciting World Expos to date, as well as the largest and the one with the most anticipated attendees! With a lot to prove, Shanghai has pulled out all the stops on their “Better City: Better Life” campaign to make Shanghai glisten in much the same way Beijing went all out for the 2008 Olympics. With new metro lines, fresh pavement, paint throughout the city and a clean-up that makes the city look like Mr. Clean went crazy on every surface, Shanghai is ready to shock and wow the millions of visitors expected to attend this year’s expo. Here is what you can expect from the expo, and how to best appreciate the diversity, culture and charm of one of humanity’s greatest gap-bridging ideas.
Pavilions: The by-country or by-region pavilions are a great way to experience a country’s flavor, where they see themselves now and where they are headed in the future. A full list of pavilions by country shows the wide breadth of designs, and really demonstrates the diversity of human kind. Designs like those by Kyrgyzstan highlight that small Central Asian country’s wealth of culture and open invitation to tourists. Meanwhile, larger pavilions like Egypt’s extremely modern design demonstrate that country’s major player aspirations. Pavilions by the United Nations, UK and USA are large, but not as innovative nor creative as some of the more daringly-designed and attention-grabbing pavilions like the Ukraine’s.
Featured Treasures: Several countries have flown in prized treasures to feature in their pavilions. The French Pavilion houses seven treasures of French artistry. Six painting by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Bonnard, Cezanne, and a statue by Rodin make their first appearance outside of France at the World Expo. President Sarkozy, who visited the national treasures in April, was thrilled to share France’s culture and art with the world. The Golden Lady of Luxembourg has also arrived at the expo and is featured in their pavilion. Denmark’s iconic Little Mermaid statue is also on display in their pavilion as the primary centerpiece of the structure, marking the first time the lovely lady of Copenhagen has left the country.
Events: While there is plenty to do by simply walking around the Expo’s vast area looking at amazing architecture, cultural treasures, experiencing cultural foods and music and enjoying spending time with people from around the globe, there are also ongoing events. The Expo lasts six months, and events are scheduled intermittently throughout, including stage shows, musical performances, Wudan and Shaolin Displays, Parades, food tastings and more. We’ll be keeping you up to date as major events unfold at the Shanghai Expo this year.
Whether you will be visiting Shanghai to attend this groundbreaking World Expo, or watching it with envy from home, NileGuide will be here to keep you up to date on the events, news, and other tidbits of local information you won’t find anywhere else.
[photos courtesy of Expo 2010 Shanghai China]