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  Home > Sino-African Relations > Cultural Exchange
Africa Joint Pavilion - Shanghai World Expo: Not to be Missed
2010/05/25

www.wenming.cn   May 21, 2010 Source: People's Daily

 

One can never overvalue the significance when the Africa Joint Pavilion received its 1 millionth visitor at Shanghai World Expo.

 

Up to now one million visitors have "traveled around Africa"when the Africa Joint Pavilion welcomed its millionth visitor at Shanghai World Expo 2010. The fact is self-evident that Africa Joint Pavilion housing 42 African countries and the African Union has become a highlight of Expo 2010. Entering the Pavilion that occupies the largest area and represents biggest number of countries in the history of World Expos, visitors will be immersed with the splendid history and reality of African culture.

 

The success of Africa Joint Pavilion is attributed to, firstly, its close association with the theme of Expo 2010---"better city, better life", being a showcase of the traits and achievements of African cities. The design of Suakin Gate, representing Sudanese traditional architecture, creates an atmosphere of solemnity and nobility in an unassuming way. Ethiopia's Ancient City---Harar Jugol, inspires a strong sense of history with its magnificent city towers; Chad displays the architectural style of the Sahel desert and grassland; Cameroon's choice is a courtyard resembling that of a tribal chief, while Central Africa uses a dome to illustrate the traditional African architecture style.

 

Moreover, the outside world, especially the West, often misunderstands Africa. Reflecting the true color of African cultures, the Joint Pavilion features three themes: the extended history, vast diversity and vitality. Africa is the birthplace of the mankind. The African Smile---the huge sculpture of a human face standing in the communal area of the Africa Joint Pavilion---represents the smile of Lucy, the foremother of human beings. The passionate and vigorous singing and dancing is part of African peoples'life. The charming programs, Mali's band, Uganda royal dance, Kenya's culture village shows, Djibouti's dagger dance, Togo's mask dance, Burundi's drum music, Cameroon's music and dance, and Niger's fashion show, performed on a daily basis on the central stage of the Joint Pavilion inspire the visitors'keenness for a visit to the African continent.

 

Thirdly, the Africa Joint Pavilion embodies China's deep respect to Africa. Built with aid from the Chinese side, the construction of the Pavilion is based on repeated exchanges of views concerning the themes and layout between the two sides. "Helping without replacing",CamilleKouassi (transliteration), deputy director of the Cote d'Ivoire delegation once commented gladly to the media, "Africa has never felt so respected."

 

China and African countries enjoy a lasting and profound friendship, but people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two sides are still inadequate. Cultural exchanges and people-to-people goodwill will form a strong basis for sustained development of Sino-African relationship. The new-type Sino-African strategic partnership constitutes the key elements of cultural exchanges and learning from each other, political equality and mutual trust, and economic win-win cooperation.

 

It is estimated that tens of millions of Chinese people will visit the Africa Joint Pavilion during its half-a-year's opening. This will certainly help Chinese people better understand African peoples and cultures. And to preserve cultural diversity and promote equal exchanges and mutual learning of all civilizations of the world is the essence of the concept of "world harmony"that China advocates.

 

(Zhang Zhongxiang)

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