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2010. 13 September
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark tries out one of the 250 city bikes in the Danish Pavilion on Tuesday, June 29.
by K M Rehan Salahuddin
(china.org.cn) The theme of the Denmark Pavilion is Welfairytales – a contraction of the words welfare and fairytale. Welfairytales is the story about Denmark, it's cities and Danish companies' strong tradition of balancing economic growth with welfare and sustainability.
Welfairytales wants to share with its visitors Denmark's ability to create harmonious cities where people can grow, live and be happy without sacrificing their economic prosperity.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: Could you tell us about some of the highlights of the Denmark Pavilion? What is special about it compared with other pavilions?
Lene Winther: In our pavilion we re-launch the bicycle in Shanghai as a symbol of healthy lifestyle and sustainable urban development. Denmark is a biking nation with more people riding bikes than driving cars and our pavilion has more than 200 bicycles for the visitors to use around the whole exhibition. It emphasizes that in our pavilion we don't just talk about the good city life, visitors can experience it by themselves.
Using bicycles have three good advantages: It is good for the climate (no CO2 emissions), it is good for the traffic (less cars in the streets) and it is good for your health (good exercise!).
K M Rehan Salahuddin: Could you tell us how you have been promoting the Denmark Pavilion, both in China and back home in the Denmark?
Lene Winther: We have several initiatives; we have a website www.expo2010.dk where we regularly post news in English and Chinese, we have several events such as an extensive music program Mermaid Music where we have invited 26 talented Danish bands to come to the EXPO and perform each Wednesday in our pavilion. In late August we threw a three day long celebration of the Little Mermaid where we had lots of exiting activities aimed at children. This event made headlines in newspapers all over China.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: Will new environmental protection measures feature in the Denmark Pavilion? Can you tell us about them?
Lene Winther: Besides from bringing the bicycles to China as a way to promote sustainable city life style, we would also like to emphasize the Harbour Pool in the middle of our pavilion. It allows the visitor to experience what it like to be close to the Danish harbour. The sea as a recreational resource means a lot to the Danes. After years of concentrated efforts to reduce pollution, it is now possible to swim inside the harbour areas of many Danish cities due to our advanced water purification technologies.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: Can you provide us a short description of the Denmark Pavilion?
Lene Winther: The Denmark Pavilion relates to the theme of EXPO 2010 'Better City, Better Life' by presenting an example of true Danish city life. We would like for the Chinese audience to experience for themselves how it is like to be in a Danish city with integrated sustainable elements such as our more than 200 city bikes, Harbour Pool with clean water, the possibility to try a delicious outdoor Danish picnic and watch films and images about Denmark and the
Danes created by our young talented artists. Some of the key words are sustainability, green cities, openness, simplicity and happiness.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: How enthusiastic the people of Denmark about the Expo?
Lene Winther: The Danes are quite interested in the EXPO, especially because the Little Mermaid, the famous national symbol of Denmark, is visiting.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: Could you introduce some of the special or traditional things that will be on display in the Denmark Pavilion?
Lene Winther: We display the famous statue of the Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale of the same name.
The Little Mermaid refers to the theme of the Danish Pavilion: Welfairytales – a contraction of the words 'Welfare' and 'Fairytale'. Today, Denmark is primarily known by the Chinese as the native country of H. C. Andersen; however, the Danish Pavilion will narrate new tales of Denmark and show our ability to create cities that are attractive to live in.
The purpose of relocating the real Mermaid to Shanghai is meant as a gesture towards the Chinese with the intention of creating cultural dialogue and strengthening the ties between Denmark and China. While the Little Mermaid is in Shanghai, we have invited eminent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to create a video installation at the spot where the Mermaid usually sits in Copenhagen Harbour. So, not only the Chinese will experience Danish culture, but also the Danes will enjoy the opportunity by EXPO to sample Chinese culture.
Lene Winther, Head of Press and Communications, Denmark Pavilion
Interviewed by K M Rehan Salahuddin, Editor, Sortofopinion.comSource: www.china.org.cn