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September 15, 2012

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Home » Metro » Expat Community

It's Silver Magnolias for 58 expats

Fifty-eight expatriates were awarded the Magnolia Silver Award by the city government yesterday for their outstanding contributions to Shanghai's development.

At a ceremony yesterday evening, they were given a certificate and a medal by Li Mingjun, director of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office.

The recipients were from 17 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas, the foreign affairs office said.

The foreigners represented various professions, including business leaders, technicians, managers, teachers and scholars.

"We really appreciate the efforts you've made for the city's economic and social development," Li said at the ceremony.

"These achievements would never have been possible without the participation of expatriates, particularly the Magnolia Award winners."

Speaking on behalf of all the recipients, Steven Weathers from the United States said in his bilingual speech that he's been very impressed with the city's beautiful sights, delicious cuisine and warmth.

"Shanghai residents have given us heart-felt hospitality," he said. "Simply put, Shanghai is home."

Weathers is a video producer, TV host and a lecturer at Xie Jin Film and Art College of Shanghai Normal University.

He came to Shanghai about six years ago and immediately fell in love with the city.

"Shanghai's skylines are unmatched by any city in the world," he said. "The fast public transportation and clean sidewalks are all welcoming to those who enter the city.

"It's a stunning place where everything comes together: the creek, the river, the past, and the future," he said.

Shanghai began presenting the Magnolia Awards in 1989 in recognition of expats' hard work and achievements. A total of 856 expats have received the reward over the past 24 years.

Every year, candidates are recommended by various organizations in the city.

The list is reviewed and the winners short-listed by the awards committee before it is approved by the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office.

The Magnolia Award is a municipal honor given to expatriates for their outstanding contribution to the city's economic, social or cultural development and the white magnolia, whose petals always look skyward, is the city's flower, symbolizing a pioneering and enterprising spirit.


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