Shanghai’s World Expo is expected to attract 70 million visitors to Shanghai from May 1 to October 31 this year. After visiting the fairs and expositions, some visitors will also get a chance to experience the “Expo Families” of Shanghai.
Modeled under Beijing 2008’s “Olympic Families”, “Expo Families” (世博人家) is a home-stay program for visitors, through which they can get the close-up experience of living an ordinary Chinese’s life.
A ten minute ride from Shanghai Expo Puxi Area(浦西园区) is Qiu Kezhong’s(裘可忠) house, which had been tidied up and renovated inside out, with models of China Pavilion and Expo flags, in preparation to entertain guests from every corner of the world.
What make Qiu’s family an Expo family? First of all, four out of the five family members speak English. The family is also famous for their culinary skills. Last but not least, they have experience with hosting Serbian delegates during the Shanghai Special Olympic World Summer Games in 2007.
The 70-year-old elder Qiu told reporters proudly that the Shanghai Expo home-stay project will not only show guests how average people live in the city, it also make his own life richer.
One thing that foreigners will probably learn is making dumplings
Expo Family hosts are not short of people with strong understanding of Chinese culture. Chen Yongliang(陈永良), for example, from another host family was a big fan of Chinese traditional culture. He has all sorts of Chinese calligraphy, paintings and photographs hung all over his place. Since he was selected as a host family, he had prepared sets of brushes and paper ready to teach guests about Chinese calligraphy.
When the curtain over the Expo site rise, 200 Expo Families, like mini China Pavilions scattered around Shanghai, will be China’s showcase of “better city, better life” (slogan of Shanghai’s World Expo).