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A look inside the DPRK pavilion
2010. 9 August
by Li Huizi, Wurihan Visitors usually head directly to a stamp desk near the entrance and get their "Expo passports" stamped with a symbol of the DPRK pavilion -- a man riding a galloping horse -- before
(news.xinhuanet.com) Unlike many other national pavilions, the pavilion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has no queues. But there is still an endless stream of curious people entering the plain-looking structure.
Visitors usually head directly to a stamp desk near the entrance and get their "Expo passports" stamped with a symbol of the DPRK pavilion -- a man riding a galloping horse -- beforestrolling around the 1,000 square meters pavilion.
A staff member told Xinhua the pavilion was popular -- having about 40,000 visitors each day.
This is DPRK's debut at the World Expo, which boasts a history of 159 years. The country has brought a miniature landscape of its capital Pyongyang, dubbed "paradise for people," to Shanghai.
Located in Zone A of the Expo Park, the DPRK joins other Asian countries in displaying the concept of developing cities. The Pavilion of the Republic of Korea (ROK) is about 100 meters away. People must queue for more than three hours to get inside, according to the Expo bureau's latest report Saturday.
The DPRK pavilion is the only one at the Shanghai World Expo Park to decorate its exterior wall with a huge national flag.
In the pavilion, the site visitors first see is a model of "The Tower of Juche Idea," a pure white monument about 170 meters tall located in downtown Pyongyang.
"It is the most beautiful piece of architecture in our country and has been built to celebrate the 70th birth anniversary of the late leader Kim Il Sung," said a pavilion staff member, wearing a pin of Kim Il Sung's portrait on his shirt.
Opposite the Tower is a DPRK-style kiosk and pergola, very common in Pyongyang streets. A music fountain in the center of the pavilion is composed of statues of five children standing in a circle, with two releasing a white dove.
"This shows we long for peace," said the staff who can speak fluent Chinese.
Five TV screens play scenes of DPRK's economic and social development and people's life, including subways, stadiums and footage of DPRK's national sports teams winning gold medals in international competitions such as gymnastics, and its national football team players competing in the field. During 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa that ended last month, the team's performance gained worldwide applause for their perseverance.
A LED screen overhead plays a video clip of a concert commemorating Kim Il Sung's anniversary last year.
Although there are no dazzling images created by high-tech tools like in the pavilions of many developed countries, the DPRK pavilion's simple style and people's curiosity about the it have made it popular.
Commemorative stamps, mostly illustrating the friendly relationship between China and the DPRK, are popular among visitors. They are all for sale.
One stamp depicts late chairman of China, Mao Zedong, in a white shirt and wearing a Young Pioneer's Red Scarf, chatting happily with kids. Another set of four stamps depict Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, shaking hands with DPRK leaders.
Counters in the pavilion selling stamps are crowded with enthusiastic buyers. A local visitor, surnamed Zhu, bought many stamps of Kim Il Sung and a book called "Kim Jong-Il: for completion of the cause of the Juche revolution."
"I learned from newspapers that the DPRK pavilion sells stamps and books about the leaders, so I came here to make a purchase. I like to read such books," Zhu said.
Many visitors take photos of the female staff wearing ethnic Korean gowns. But a 28-year-old saleswoman surnamed Jing refused visitors wanting to take a picture of her.
Jing is an accountant in a trade company back in the DPRK and fluent in Mandarin, but she had never before been to China. Jing said her parents, who have been working in Pyongyang's foreign language university, taught her Chinese when she was very young.
Wearing a Kim Il Sung pin, she said the number of people learning Chinese in the DPRK was second only to those learning English.
"As China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors, we must learn Chinese well," she said.Source: news.xinhuanet.com