The time has come for me to bestow all my valuable Shanghai World Expo 2010 knowledge that I have accrued gradually over time on you. This way, you can casually drop expo tidbits and information on your fellow conversationalists and impress them with your worldliness. In fact, if you play it right, you could possibly convince your more naive listeners that you actually attended the expo when most likely you actually did not, since it is on the opposite side of the world. Anyways, let the information overload begin.
The theme for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo (2010 nian shang hai shi bo hui) is “Better City, Better Life” which in Chinese translates to “Cheng shi, rang sheng huo geng mei hao (~city makes lies more beautiful)” The expo logo depicts three people holding hands, representing the intimate connections created by the expo. The shape of the logo was inspired by the Chinese character “shi” which means “world.” If you look at the simplified chinese character for world to the left-hand side and the expo logo above, you can see the similar shape.
The mascot for the Shanghai 2010 expo is “Hai Bao” which means “treasure of the seas” in Chinese. Designed after the Chinese character “ren,” meaning “person,” Hai Bao represents the diverse peoples present at the Expo. Hai Bao also represents the world’s shared concern for a better future through his mascot name which emphasizes the importance of clean water. Statues of Hai Bao can be found everywhere in Shanghai and Hai Bao merchandise is sold all over the city. Interestingly, when the Hai Bao mascot concept was first released, the Expo organizers were accused of copying Gumby, that green clay figure from the old TV show. Of course, China isn’t exactly known for its originality…but let’s not get off track.
The expo is split onto both banks of the Huang Pu river. The country pavilions are on the Pu Dong side (“pu“-in reference to the river, “dong“- means East) and the corporate pavilions are on the Pu Xi side (“xi“- means West). The Pu Dong side also houses the famous Pearl Tower and the growing financial district, while the Pu Xi side holds the larger portion of Shanghai- tourist locations, malls, bars, clubs, etc. Unfortunately for me, as seen in the map, the USA Pavilion is located in the 1st section, far left side of the map, and the Expo Village, where I live, is located in the 13th section, all the way to the right side. Needless to say, it’s quite a commute in the mornings, dropping off workers at every pavilion on the way. Oh well, it builds character.