(Postcards from Shanghai World Expo 2010)

The World Expo happens only once in two to five years and the host country is determined through a bidding process.

In 2010, Shanghai City in China was the host of the World Expo which I was lucky enough to witness myself when I joined a 3-week training program on “IT and its Application” under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and one of three delegates from the Philippines who joined some 20 others from around Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

One of our training speakers was an engineer for the expo so we had an insider’s look into how the entire exhibition was put together.

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the entire 5.28 sq km expo with a river in between, the largest fair site ever

Expo 2010, officially the Expo 2010 Shanghai China, was held on both banks of the Huangpu River… The theme of the exposition was “Better City – Better Life” and signifies Shanghai’s new status in the 21st century as the “next great world city“… It had the largest number of countries participating and was the most expensive Expo in the history of the world’s fairs. (Wikipedia)

This expo was bigger than any English word synonymous to gargantuan, with 192 exhibiting countries and several other corporate pavilions including Cisco’s where I first heard about the Internet of Things. It looked way too improbable then, but now, IoT seems to be more and more a reality than just a mere vision of the future. You can watch the futuristic video that played at the Cisco Pavilion here.

You can read more about the Shanghai expo in Wikipedia to know how grand this event was, the billions of yuan spent and earned, the underwater tubes constructed, the boost in the city’s tourism, as well as the controversies surrounding the planning and cleanup of the area including displacement allegedly of some 18,000 families to give way to this unprecedented world’s fair.

Below are a few photos I snapped out of the hundreds of colossal country pavilions on display, some of which I have forgotten the names of. Try to zero in on the size of the country pavilions in contrast to the size of the people around in the pictures. It’s impossible to visit each country pavilion in one day. I wonder up until now if anyone was ever able to visit or endeavoured to visit all 200+ pavilions when the expo ran from May to October.

The expo was a testament to our world’s diversity and creativity.

It’s a small world, after all.

Let me parade each country here one by one:

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Algeria

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Angola

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Argentina

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Australia

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Belarus

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Belgium

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Brazil

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Cambodia

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Chile

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Colombia

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Croatia

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Cuba

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Czech Republic

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Denmark

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Estonia

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Finland. Can you see that flyover on the left?

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Germany

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Kazakhstan

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Latvia

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Libya

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Malaysia

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The Netherlands, an apartment-looking pavilion

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Nigeria

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Pakistan

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Peru

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Poland

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Portugal

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Qatar

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Romania

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Saudi Arabia

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Singapore

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Slovakia

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Slovenia (“I feel sLOVEnia”)

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South Africa

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South Korea

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Spain, a wickerwork pavilion

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Sweden

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Thailand

 

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Tunisia

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United Kingdom, awarded Best Pavilion Design, made up of 60,000 acrylic clear rods embedded with 250,000 plant seeds at the tip that collectively make up this “Seed Cathedral”. See more pictures here.

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United States

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Uzbekistan

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Venezuela

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Vietnam

These are some other attractions along the expo boulevard or other pavilions whose names I have now forgotten that are worth showing here:

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One of the many thought-provoking depictions along the expo streets

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I don’t remember the name of this pavilion but it looked like an orchidarium or a butterfly pavilion with that enormous net draping overall

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a 360-degree display of hot air balloons inside makes this pavilion hypnotising

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an exhibit of recycled electronics

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this exhibit inside one of the pavilions needs one to look up

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even the open areas are elaborately designed!

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a spaceship-looking Performance Centre building

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the sun sets at the expo

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Wow what a gallery of pics, outstanding! Makes me almost feel like I was there too.
    Marianne

    Like

    Reply

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