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August 7, 2009

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Mexico flies a kite for Expo

FLYING kites on a warm sunny day is a favorite activity for children all across the world. At the World Expo Shanghai next year, those sweet childhood memories can be recalled at the Mexico Pavilion.

People will see no building, but a 4,000-square-meter area covered in grass with hundreds of colorful Mexican kites flying in the sky.

Visitors can read a book, have a picnic or simply relax on the grass under the shade of the kites. They can also buy a traditional Mexican-style kite from the pavilion and fly it to recall the fun of their childhoods.

You can even learn how to make a unique Mexican kite as the souvenir.

The country's pavilion will be a "Kite Forest."

It will be a green slope with a total of 135 kites being flown over it. Seen from afar it will look there are hundreds of people flying kites together.

The kites, to be made in eco-friendly plastic, will be in red, pink, yellow, green and blue, to make the pavilion one of the most colorful Expo exhibits. The kites will be about 8 meters long and 4 meters wide, larger than normal kites, and supported by poles each 3 meters to 13 meters tall.

Construction began yesterday on the pavilion and a dozen children from Mexico and China planted colorful Mexican kites on the top of poles on the foundations of the pavilion to celebrate the ground-breaking.

Kites represent the idea of flying and are the strength that unites the Mexican and Chinese cultures, said Eduardo Seldner, commissioner general of the Mexico Pavilion.

The kite originated in China and is popular in Mexico.

A traditional Mexican kite is lozenge-shaped with the sides of about 30 centimeters made by paper. It also has two tails.

The name for kite in Mexican is nahuatl, which also means butterfly.

The design envisions a future with spaces specifically planned, thought and designed for relaxation, as well as recovery of parks and green areas, where new generations may find themselves in a city that offers them a better life, said Edgar Ramirez, the pavilion's architect.

"The square is the heart of the pavilion. It is the representation of the future vision for the kids from Mexico," Seldner said.

The green grass manifests the country's concern for the recovery of the green areas in cities and the kites symbolize reaching high looking to the future, imagining a city where the kids play in this forest, he added.

"The pavilion opens its doors to all visitors and its bright colors will definitely attract the attention from quite far," Seldner said.

However, the pavilion will be more than a square for fun. The exhibition area will be a two-story area under the square.

Under the theme "Living Better" the pavilion will showcase Mexico's culture, landscapes, cities and the ancient Maya civilization.

Some cultural relics of the Maya will be exhibited.

The main access will be on street level, beneath the square where visitors can enter a restaurant that will provide the most exquisite, traditional and famous Mexican dishes.

A store beside the restaurant will offer traditional Mexican handicrafts and related books.

Once inside the main exhibition area, visitors will be taken on a chronological journey through the history of Mexico from the pre-Hispanic era to proposals for the future, the commissioner general said.

The first part of the exhibition is "A Look Into The Past," where people can find three screens on the floor projecting images of Mexico's pre-Hispanic cities, colonial cities and 19th century cities. The multimedia show will make visitors feel they are part of the history.

The tour continues to the second theme which is "A Look at the Present," in an elongated space with elements in constant movement and projections referring to the actual dynamics of the cities.

Visitors will also be able to observe the beautiful natural scenery of Mexico.

The next space will be designated to a vision of the future in which there will be several interactive tables for visitors that will provide a showcase of information to communicate development plans and future projects as well as sustainable environment programs that will create a better Mexico.

The final part of the journey will bring people inside a box where screens will display images in real time of the Kites Square on top of the Pavilion.

These screens will show the activities being carried out in the square and invite visitors to climb up and be part of that experience.

The tourist information stand will provide information about main attractions of the country.

A stage will provide Mexican ballet and other traditional performances.

The pavilion will also incorporate a business center where meetings will be held to promote investment in Mexico and exports to China.

With a population of 107.5 million, Mexico is the 11th largest country in the world and the third in central America.

That is a great challenge for the country to build better cities and improve the lives of its people.

This is why the country is taking part in Expo, the commissioner general said. Highlight: The main exhibition area of the pavilion will be underground. The part above ground will just be a square with a total of 135 kites flying over it.Theme: Living Better What to see?

Some priceless cultural relics from the ancient Maya civilization will be exhibited in the pavilion.

What to eat?

A restaurant will provide traditional Mexican dishes, incorporating the country's famous peppers. A store beside the restaurant will offer traditional Mexican handicrafts and related books.

Want to have fun?

Buy a kite to fly from the pavilion square. You will also be able to make a traditional Mexican kite of your own.4,000 sq m

The pavilion will have hundreds of colorful Mexican kites flying in the sky. The kite has been chosen as a symbol that unites China, where it was invented, and Mexico, where kite flying is a tradition.


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