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Yeosu, microcosm of the world

Among the Yeosu Expo’s 30-plus main structures, the biggest in size is the three-story International Pavilion housing a total of 104 countries equipped with state-of-the-art technology and multi-dimensional elements to present their own themes. While every nation is vying for attention, there are a couple of pavilions particularly worth visiting in the first week of June.
 Long lines are a regular sight at the International Pavilion, one of the Expo's most popular attractions (photo courtesy of the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Organizing Committee). Long lines are a regular sight at the International Pavilion, one of the Expo's most popular attractions (photo courtesy of the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Organizing Committee).

Consisting of three zones under the main theme “Our future is a tapestry of forest, village, and sea,” the Japan Pavilion aims to show the dichotomous relationship that the Japanese have with the ocean. They have enjoyed diverse benefits from the beautiful sea, but at the same time they have faced the severity of such threats as the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Relying on its impressive animation industry, Japan presents a seven-minute-long animation based on a true story to inform the world of the laborious recovery process and highlight the need for managing natural disasters.



 

 From top: (1) The interior of the Japan Pavilion (2) The Kaiwo Maru will set out on the Yeosu Port ahead of Japanese national day and be open to the public on June 1; (3) Various festivities will take place on Pier 3 on the Japanese national day (photos courtesy of the Japan Pavilion)From top: (1) The interior of the Japan Pavilion (2) The Kaiwo Maru will set out on the Yeosu Port ahead of Japanese national day and be open to the public on June 1; (3) Various festivities will take place on Pier 3 on the Japanese national day (photos courtesy of the Japan Pavilion)

On June 2, the Kaiwo Maru, a sail training ship attached to the National Institute for Sea Training, will set out from the Yeosu Port to celebrate the Japanese national day. After its port-call ceremony on May 30, the ship will be open to the public on June 1. It is easy to miss out on the lifetime opportunity since the exploration is allowed only two times: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Just up to 1,000 visitors are allowed on board for each session. Those who wish to attend should come to Pier 3 adjacent to the Expo grounds. For more information about the Japan Pavilion, visit the official website.

The Monaco Pavilion, made of recycled materials, is another must-see pavilion for the first week of June. The first thing to draw visitors’ attention is the blue ribbon on the façade of the pavilion wall, a symbol of Monaco’s commitment to protecting the seas and oceans, just as a red ribbon symbolizes social education for AIDS and pink for the campaign against breast cancer.

The blue ribbon that adorns the outside of the Monaco Pavilion was designed to symbolize cooperative efforts to protect the marine environment (photo courtesy of the Monaco Pavilion).

The tour of the Monaco Pavilion introduces the nation’s 100-year-long commitment to protecting the marine environment in areas of policy and social activities. Aiming to raise public awareness about the challenges the world faces, the pavilion displays interesting elements to appeal to visitors. Among them is Monacus, the mascot of the pavilion, which guides the visitors into the main site and offers a detailed explanation of the zones. A unique spectacle is a video clip of the marine ecosystem filmed 10,641 meters under the sea.

In a celebration of the national day of Monaco on June 3, H.S.H Prince Albert II and H.S.H Princess Charlene will visit the Expo on a diplomatic mission and attend a diverse collection of cultural performances and events.

H.S.H Prince Albert II, well known for his long dedication to protecting the ocean environment, will introduce the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) on June 4 in a bid to raise participation and share a common commitment to the sustainable management and preservation of the oceans. Founded in 2010 by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Oceanographic Institute, the global platform will focus on the integrated management of marine-protected areas and new perspectives of international cooperation. For more information, visit the website of the Monaco Pavilion at the official website.

The Expo passport stamps from individual national pavilions have been enjoying popularity since they give visitors the feeling that they are travelling the world. The diverse colors and designs of the stamps depending on each nation’s themes encourage visitors to collect more. Ryu Hong-yeong from the organizing committee said, “Expo passports and stamps will get people to feel nostalgic for the days when they used to get their passport stamped, and children will also have fun collecting diverse stamps with unique designs.”

 A group of foreign tourists visited the Yeosu Expo to enjoy the diverse attractions and spectacles of the global marine festival (photo courtesy of the Expo 2012 Yeosu korea).

Thanks to the three-day holiday last weekend, the Expo attracted a record turnout at around 110,000 people. The 93-day festival will continue until August 12. Visit the official website of the Yeosu Expo for more information. 

By Lee Seung-ah
Korea.net Staff Writer

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