In case the city somehow let you forget, we are now exactly ONE YEAR from the opening of the Shanghai World Expo. And therefore it’s time for us, as good Shanghai citizens (even if we don’t have those coveted hukous), to do an EXPO NEWS ROUNDUP:
- Yesterday, freedom-ambivalent movie star Jackie Chan performed a mini-concert in Minhang to start off the year-long festivities. The other two 2010 Expo ambassadors, Houston Rockets baller Yao Ming and Olympics pianist Lang Lang were absent, but expressed their wishes to be there through video recordings.
- Starting from today, you can apply to be an expo volunteer! While you don’t get any pay, you will get food, uniforms, insurance and the opportunity to be a part of the greatest post-Olympics event China has planned for now! Better sign up quickly though, China Daily tells us a volunteer rush is expected.
- Did you miss Avril Lavigne on her one night only tour of Shanghai? According to the Canadian Expo organizers and her Myspace page, she’ll be comin’ round again to represent the grand ol’ Maple Leaf. No word if she’ll be performing her Mandarin-language hit 女朋友.
- Speaking of Expo pavilions, so far 189 countries and 47 international organizations have confirmed that they will participate. Expo organizers say that they expect a total of 200 countries to participate. The most recent pavilions to begin construction: Pakistan, which will be replicating an ancient fort in the city of Lahore, and the China Telecom + China Mobile joint Information and Communication Pavilion.
- You know who’s not confirmed? The U.S. Pavilion. Despite warnings against missing the Expo, Hillary Clinton’s blessings, “offers of support” from Shanghai officials, and the U.S. organizers themselves promising to make a decision by April’s end… we’re still not completely sure if we’re going to see one. The official team’s website hasn’t been updated since Hillary Clinton’s letter and if anyone besides 3M’s signed on to be an official sponsor, nobody’s thought to tell the press. A year before the Expo begins, this looks pretty bad… at best, we’ll be getting a pavilion rush job… at worst, a very iconic empty plot of land. Shanghai’s Expo organizers are already preparing for the latter.
Photo by WorldExpoblog