Twice a day, the sailing ceremony is held. A dozen graceful sails resembling bat wings, like the sails of a Chinese fishing junk, are raised and lowered on the masts that overhang the water surrounding the Hong Kong pavilion.
Like Hong Kong itself, the Hong Kong pavilion combines modernism and tradition. Hong Kong owes its success to two factors: one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world and the dynamic vector of its 4 million inhabitants. As a shipping route to China, Hong Kong flourished as a central warehouse until the first political embargo forced it to cut back on trade. Yet in recent years it has emerged as an industrial force, and is making its presence felt in markets around the world.
The population has grown incredibly, from 600,000 in 1945 to more than six times today. Many of those who came from China brought their skills and ingenuity with them. But Hong Kong is much more than the sum of its industrial efforts; in its territories, a new insight offers a vision of ancient China. There, people have continued to cultivate the land for centuries with the cultural traditions of their ancestors. The East meets the West in the cities, where young people hope for a modern life.
The Hong Kong pavilion shows a broad slice of community life in all its aspects, its industry, its social progress, its festivals, its nightlife and its internationally renowned Cantonese cuisine, here served in the second of the two pavilion buildings. Most importantly, the pavilion shows the world the people who have made Hong Kong what it is today.