Hong Kong turns to culture for six-month World Expo

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The Independent Online

The countdown to World Expo in Shanghai moved into overdrive this week with Hong Kong the first of the more than 200 nations, cities and organizations attending the event to announce its full list of activities planned for the Expo's six-month run.

The Hong Kong Pavilion (http://www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk) for the Expo, running May 1 to October 31, has been themed "Hong Kong - A City with Unlimited Potential'' and a lot of that must have to do with cultural events, if the organizers' program is anything to go by.

More than 45 performances by Hong Kong arts and entertainment groups will be staged at the city's Expo site as well as at other venues in Shanghai to highlight what organizers say is the "diversity and creativity of talented Hong Kong artists."

Among those featured will be the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, avant-garde theater group Zuni Icosahedron and an as-yet-confirmed selection of the city's Canto-pop stars.

Organizers also announced different themes would be adopted for each month in an effort to promote Hong Kong as a "Green City," a "Destination City,'' a "Cultural City',' a "Creative City'' and a city upholding the "One Country, Two Systems'' principle, by which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is governed.

They say the highlight will be the staging of a five-day "Hong Kong Week'' at the Expo from October 18 to 22.

"The programme menu includes a parade as well as performances reflecting Hong Kong as a kaleidoscope of diverse cultures. Other high-profile events lined up include a Style Hong Kong Show of Hong Kong brands, and films,'' organizers said in a press release.

The State-run People's Daily newspaper has also announced that 192 countries and 50 international organizations have confirmed their attendance at the event, along with 31 districts, cities and provinces in Chinese mainland as well as Hong Kong and Macau. The newspaper is claiming the number will set a new record for participation at a World Expo.

Mainland Chinese authorities are expecting more than 70 million visitors to make the trip to Shanghai, with the majority of them coming from within the nation itself.

World Expo 2010

May 1- October 31

Shanghai, China