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Pavilion rivals sing up to win battle for visitors

STAFF at two foreign pavilions are making extra efforts at the end of the day, including breaking into song and dance routines, in a light-hearted talent competition to attract the last visitors before the Expo closes.

Workers at the Australia Pavilion shout: "Please come to the Australia Pavilion to watch a panoramic movie!" at around 9:30pm, an hour before the pavilion closes.

Staff at the Thailand Pavilion opposite soon reply: "We have the water curtain movie and three-dimensional movie, so you'd better come to the Thailand Pavilion!"

The Australian staff tell visitors how much fun they can experience in their pavilion, while the Thai staff tell visitors to go there first, "because the Aussie pavilion opens until 11pm, but the Thailand pavilion might be closed soon."

With most foreign university students majoring in Chinese, the two sets of workers often give performances in the language, singing Chinese pop songs in turn.

One group sings "Please look at me, the girls in front of me," a popular Taiwan song, while the other replies with songs made popular by Teresa Teng, a singer in the 1980s.

"We learn these songs in our Chinese language lessons," said Nattaphon Huvasmit, 26, a guide at the Thailand Pavilion.

Some staff of the Australia Pavilion sing raps in Chinese to welcome visitors. Others bring out guitars.

Staff at the Thailand Pavilion are also teaching visitors how to say "hello" and "I love you" in Thai, which also attracts many visitors.

Visitors love the rivalry, taking pictures and cheering on both sets of workers.

"I was attracted here by their funny shouting with each other to attract visitors," said Wang from Shandong Province.

"Staff at both pavilions are good friends, we joke with each other at night to amuse visitors," said 20-year-old Raffaele Mequeenie from Melbourne University.

"We visit the Aussie pavilion occasionally, and their staff also come here, we like both pavilions," Huvasmit said.

Sometimes, staff at the Australia Pavilion would extend the "battlefield" to the European section and perform in front of the France and UK pavilions, Mequeenie said.

"We try to showcase the open and friendly nature of Australian people to Expo visitors, who might have never been to my country," he added.


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