Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Excited about an Expo

I'm going to the World's Fair this summer. When I told a good friend about my plans, he asked how this could be - does the world have fairs anymore? I suppose in a prior time when travel was more difficult (an Icelandic volcano can remind us of what we take for granted in our generation), an international exhibition would have been more exotic and special. But today, I suppose our exposure to other places and cultures makes a fair some more ordinary and routine, less spectacular and necessary to maintain as a tradition.

This does not change my mind - I'm going anyway. It helps that it is being held in Shanghai, which is special by itself since I have not been to that city before. It helps that the Chinese are promoting it in their own particular way, which turns into a touting of the largest world's fair ever. It helps that the theme of this year's expo is about "better city, better life" is all about imagining the world in which we will live in the future, according to our concerns for sustainability and maintaining harmony with our surroundings. And it helps that my visit will coincide with the World Cup, which will give added dimension to the global village (it helps to be outside the US to fully appreciate the grandeur that is the largest sporting event in the world).

I suppose that all the wonders of the modern world will conspire to minimize the joy we can experience in these sorts of cultural exchanges - but I'm not buying. I'm excited about an Expo and curious to join the millions who will find the same excitement too.
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