Monday, April 25, 2011

Flora Expo Has Ended, but the Dream Has Not

Flora Expo Has Ended, but the Dream Has Not
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
April 26, 2011

The Flora Expo has ended, but the dream has not. Yesterday the half-year long 2010 Taipei International Flower Exposition ended with fireworks and a parade. The public joined in with gusto. The expo concluded, a roaring success. During the closing ceremony, President Faber of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), once again called the Taipei Flower Exposition the most successful flower exposition ever held. Recalling the chaos of opening day makes the hard-won fruits of success all the more sweet.

As the chief executive of the host city, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin was presented with an AIPH gold medal. Hau is usually stolid of manner. But on this occasion, he revealed his inner thoughts and feelings, referring to the Qing poet Gong Zizhen, who wrote, "Fallen flowers are not heartless things. Transformed into spring earth, they nuture new blossoms." In the course of organizing the expo, Hau Lung-bin experienced many ups and downs, many mixed feelings. He is surely grateful to the citizens of Taipei for their political maturity. They enabled him to pass the stringent test imposed by the ongoing elections. He was affirmed in the eyes of the public as a city mayor genuinely eager and able to get things done.

Hau Lung-bin credited the flower growers, volunteers, and performing artists for their joint effort and for the successful outcome. He stressed that all of the exhibits were "Made In Taiwan," therefore even more a cause for pride.

The Flora Expo truly is a cause for public pride. It was the first international exposition held by the Republic of China, and all the elements were MIT (made in Taiwan). Everything including the design, planning, operations, and live performances, were the results of a joint effort on Taiwan. It showed off Taiwan's vitality and creativity. More specifically, the expo represented Taiwan's soft power.

The most popular features of the expo were the Pavilion of Dreams, the Pavilion of Angels, and the Pavilion of the Future. These will remain in operation until next year. The popular Taiwan Pavilion 3D theater and Theater of the Future at the Shanghai World Expo will also resume operation. People unable to visit the expo will have the opportunity to experience its combination of cultural creativity and high technology. In 1985, Japan's World Science and Technology Fair introduced advanced display systems and helped universalize digital technology. The 2005 Aichi Expo introduced a new concept of symbiosis for the earth and the environment. The 2019 Pavilion of Dreams at the Taipei Flora Expo was a memorable milestone that displayed the creative energy of Taiwan's art on the international stage.

Twenty-two cities and 28 organizations participated in the Flora Expo garden competition. Over a period of six months, the Taiwan Association of Flower Development received the most critical praise. It won both the top prize and the AIPH Award. The "Knowing Contentment Taiwan Bamboo Garden" showed off the unique character of Taiwan's tea plants and hydroponic flowers. Even the tea served at the entrance conveyed Taiwan's human touch. For many visitors, the greatest attraction was the sound of "Contentment," which expressed the view of life and the toughness of people on Taiwan.

In planning the closing ceremony, Taipei City encouraged public participation. A parade was held in the afternoon. A concert was held in the Da Jia Park Area. Fireworks as well as the night market carnival were the most beloved by the international community. One hundred fifty-two name brand vendors of street food gathered in a large park. Looed pork rice, oyster omelets, bean curd, pork ribs stewed in Chinese herbs, and deep fried chicken breasts were all readily available. The atmosphere in Taipei was joyous. A record nine million people visited. A new record was established that final day. Over 150,000 people attended in a single day. Everyone was excited to be part of the historic moment.

The curtain has rung down on a successful Flora Expo. At the same time, it is hard not to recall the ups and downs during the Expo opening. Society on Taiwan is pluralistic and open. The colorful Flora Expo was the victim of a very embarrassing situation. Prize-winning hydroponic flower growers were the target of smear campaigns by a handful of politicians, who accused them of squandering public money. During the past six months, everyone who has visited the expo has seen the care taken with the expo, how flowers are constantly replaced, rain or shine. They have all been able to see beautiful flowers in full bloom, vibrant green grass and trees. The fruits, vegetables, and flowers may have come with price tags. But creativity is priceless. Happiness is priceless. As people walk through the Flora Expo, they have only one feeling -- that 50 or 100 NT is a pittance for all the enjoyment they have experienced.

If the flowers and trees could talk they would tell people to please listen to their silent song, and not to the politicians' cacaphony. The noise emanating from politicians on Taiwan is too loud. It makes people forget the happiness and joy that surround them. Politics may paint everything either blue or green. But must we forget the other colors pleasing to the eye? The Flora Expo exhibits have put art and beauty well within our reach. This is something politicians who see only blue and green cannot see. Never mind noisy politicians. They are the biggest losers. They have lost the tranquility within their hearts.

The Flora Expo has ended. But the dream has not. Remember the pride of the moment. It was the pride of all Taiwan. Please remember how your heart was filled with of happiness. Taiwan is a treasure island that can make people happy. Cherish it, love it, No amount of political noise can stand in your way.

2011-04-26 中國時報

花博落幕,夢想不落幕!展期長達半年的二○一○台北國際花卉博覽會昨日在煙花、歡樂 遊行、民眾踴躍參與的熱情中,圓滿閉幕。閉幕典禮上,AIPH國際園藝者協會主席法柏(Dr. Faber)再次盛讚台北花博是有史以來辦得最成功的一次花卉博覽會。回顧開幕時的紛紛擾擾,得來不易的果實更顯甜美。


郝龍斌把他的驕傲獻給所有花農、志工、文化表演者共同努力的所打造的成果,他更強調,所有展覽規畫全都是Made In Taiwan台灣製造,更值得台灣驕傲。








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