Monday, July 4, 2011

The VIP at the Sweden Pavilion + World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China

Last year, I was very lucky to have been accepted as one of the scholars of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation - China Scholarship Program and attend one of the most prestigious universities in mainland China- Fudan University. Adding more to that luck, Fudan University is located in Shanghai- the cosmopolitan city of China dubbed as the "Paris of the East". It was a beautiful city and I lived there during the first half of my year 2010.

During our stay in Shanghai, the city hosted the World Expo 2010- an exhibition of the "bests of the bests" of the many countries in the world which participated in the Expo. Of course, China has there pavilion- the tallest and the biggest among them all. The United States was there. Germany, France, Italy and our very own- the Philippines- were also there. Australia, my favorite, was also present. And then Sweden.

I was lucky to have been invited to the Sweden Pavilion as a VIP after submitting my resume to the organizers of the Ericsson's Life in 2020 Project. It was one afternoon after class when I witnessed a cultural presentation by some Swedish students. Afterwards, I visited their booths with some games, freebies and the corporate partners who were looking for interns and potential employees. Aside from that, the organizers were also looking for fifty students to participate in the Ericsson's Life in 2020 Project to be held inside the Swedish Pavilion in the World Expo. I never had any second thoughts of submitting my own resume and then- lucky me indeed- I got in! I'm the only Filipino among the students from Fudan University who participated. It was a big honor!

Here are some pictures.

That's a cute red horse in front of the pavilion- probably one of Pippi Longstocking's toy. Pippi Longstocking is Sweden's well-loved fictional character that was created by Astrid Lindgren.

My jaw dropped when I saw the pavilion guides wearing H&M clothes. H&M is a very popular clothing brand not only in Shanghai but also all over the world. I am one of those Filipinos who is wishing there was H&M in the Philippines.

The Swedish flag is made of blue and yellow colors. It has a Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag. It represents Christianity.

Here are some logos of the brands that were proudly Swedish. I was astounded. I was never aware that these household brands are actually all from Sweden. They included brands such as IKEA, Atlas Copco, Volvo, Astra Zeneca, Sandvik and etc.

Not only that. Did you know that Electrolux and National Geographic are proud Swedish brands too? Now we all know.

I'm posing with some of my friends from Fudan University. Charles, the guy on the right, actually pursued his studies at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Ericsson invited us to share our ideas of what we foresee will happen in the world come 2020- a decade from now. Since Ericsson is about gadgets and technology, they asked us to create a device that we think will be the "tool" of the future.

I also had the chance to speak in front, in behalf of my group. Philippines represent!

Did you know that Absolut also came from Sweden? That night right after the activity, we drowned ourselves with all the vodka mixes that we want! Drink all you can, yeoh!

Overlooking at the topmost part of the Swedish Pavilion is the Iceland Pavilion.

We can also see the Greek Pavilion from where we were.

The Turkey Pavilion was also visible.

As well as the Belgium-European Union Pavilion.

I'd say that I liked the Nordic diet too. Before we left home, we ate dinner with the students from Stockholm who made all those preparations for the event possible. The Nordic diet is mostly composed of vegetables, bread, white rice and fresh sea foods such as shrimps and pink salmons. It is considered as one of the healthiest diets in the world.

That night, I took home with me tons of freebies such as the water-bouncing Waboba ball, a Sweden Wants You To Dance CD, a video of Pippi Longstocking's story, a travel guide to Sweden, a postcard, a tetra-packed water in in Sweden and of course- the wonderful experience of having a taste of the culture of one of the most amazing nations in the entire universe.

That night- one year ago- was unforgettable.

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