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May 29, 2010

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High as a kite on youthful dreams and a symphony in 'green'

A kite music festival has filled the air with multicolored World Expo kites and "green" music including a "rubbish" band of pots and pans recycled into instruments. Joyce Zhang keeps time.

The Jinqiao Kite Music Festival has featured kids and teens flying kites and learning how to make them, and a "kite" youth orchestra playing music to raise environmental awareness and float green dreams.

A creative "rubbish band" played on broken pots and pans of metal and pottery that they recycled into musical instruments at the event at Jinqiao Life Hub last week.

The message: reuse and recyle. They reminded listeners that discarded rubbish can often be put to use.

The Jinqiao Kite Music Festival was first staged at the Expo site early this month, providing green-themed music by the Shanghai Pudong Kite Junior Symphony Orchestra.

It was staged again last week and crowded with teen music and kite fans.

The Kite Junior Symphony Orchestra was established in 2008 and plays charity concerts to spread messages about sustainable development, environmental protection and a low-carbon lifestyle.

All concerts are free and donations are voluntary. Funds raised are donated to environmental protection programs and classes that help poor kids learn about music.

The orchestra cooperated with the World Expo's ZED Pavilion last week to spread the idea of zero energy development. All performers wore clothing of natural materials, not synthetics, and wore the symbol "ZED" -- zero fossil energy developments.

The audience joined in the concert and kept time by beating small drums and shaking maracas.

Educational materials and free souvenirs carried messages about climate change, calculating carbon dioxide emissions and how to lower energy demand in cities.

"Seeing the kids so diligent in conveying the message makes me think about changing some of my bad, wasteful habits," says 55-year-old Wang Yue, who went with her six-year-old granddaughter.

In addition to the music gala, a DIY kite program also attracted many visitors' at Garden Square. Several kite masters exhibited their masterpieces and gave free kite-making instructions.

Visitors assembled their kites and painted the Expo mascot Haibao in colors.

The workshop provided scissors, pliers, writing brushes, colorful paint and natural twine. The kite masters were surrounded by visitors young and old.

"I love my kite. It is so beautiful," says 10-year-old Jin Bing, with his just-finished green Haibao kite.

"I will remember to protect the environment and urge my friends to do the same -- that's the only way we will be flying our loves kites in unpolluted blue sky."


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