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Finland frenzy with hot bands and new phones

A FINLAND storm swept the Expo site yesterday. Heavy metal bands rocked the Europe Square while Nokia, the world's No. 1 mobile phone maker, showed for the first time in China its future telecommunication technology.

From afternoon through to evening, fans crowded into Europe Square in Zone C to scream at several heavy metal or electronic music bands from Finland.

The first wave of exuberance came at sunset when the band Negative lit up the whole square. Police had to prevent enthusiastic fans from standing on chairs or jumping onto the stage. But after the one-hour show, some excited young women still ran onto the stage to hug the band's leading vocalist Jonne Aaron.

The fanatic atmosphere lasted to dark, as Turisas and Stratovarius took turns on the stage after Negative.

As well as the heavy metal, traditional Finnish arts welcomed visitors yesterday in the form of the blended culture of East and West. Chinese pipa player Lin Di collaborated with Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen, while members of the Finnish National Ballet danced in traditional Chinese costume.

Finland President Tarja Halonen said she was happy to see such non-governmental exchange and cooperation between Finland and China, especially involving young people because it will be vital for cooperation between the two countries in the future.

Nokia showcased new technology called "augmented reality" which overlays virtual content on top of a user's view of the real world, allowing retrieval of more information about surroundings.

At the Finland Pavilion, called Kirnu, users could pick up Nokia's latest N900 mobile phone. An animated virtual guide appeared on the screen to greet guests to the pavilion and was followed by an introductory video to the country played on the phone.


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