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Drink free Moutai liquor at the Guizhou pavilion

GUIZHOU Province will invite visitors to drink the Moutai liquor, the fiery spirit used at Chinese government banquets to toast visiting dignitaries, free in its Shanghai Expo pavilion at the Expo 2010, the Guizhou Expo team told a press conference today to launch a week-long Expo exhibition in Shanghai.

Ethnic Miao girls from the province will give every 100th visitor to the pavilion a cup of liquor served in an oxhorn while singing songs encouraging them to drink. It is a traditional custom for receiving guests, said Yang Haodong, deputy director of the Department of Commerce of the province and director of the pavilion.

The province will present a bottle of Moutai liquor to every 1,000th visitor. The Guizhou organizers plan to give away five bottles every day during the 184-day event.

The province will make the liquor the centerpiece of its pavilion because it's world famous, Yang said. The liquor won the gold prize at the Panama World Expo in 1915 and became renowned across the world.

A highlight of the pavilion will be a giant upturned bottle of Moutai that pours water on a model of the earth. The water then starts a brook.

The organizer will add a little liquor to the water so the smell spreads across the pavilion.

Under the theme "Charm of the Summer Resort," the 600-square-meter pavilion in China's giant provincial hall that surrounds the China Pavilion has been called a "well-dressed Miao girl" by organizers. It will incorporate elements such as a wind-rain bridge, waterfalls, minority masks and the province's silver accessories.

The gates of the pavilion will be adorned by two giant silver head pieces worn by Miao girls. They will sway and clang in the breeze to welcome visitors.

The pavilion will be an ethnic Dong wind-rain bridge - a complex of wooden buildings, corridors and towers that people use to shelter from the wind and rain. It will be set among an 8-meter-high model mountain with a mini Huangguoshu Waterfall.

From the top floor of the two-story wind-rain bridge, visitors can look the model landscape and liquor river. Some traditional crafts such as embroidery will be showcased.

Dances by the Maio, Dong and Puyi - the province's three main ethnic minorities - will be performed around clock in the pavilion.

Organizers expect 5,000 people to visit the pavilion every day. The overall budget is about 13 million yuan (US$1.76 million).

An exhibition about the province's Expo showcase will run free through Sunday at the Shanghai Expo Exhibition Center at 300 Huaihai Road M.

Construction on the pavilion is due to begin in October. A trial operation will begin in March.


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