The World Expo 2010 is scheduled to take place this year from May 1 to October 31 in Shanghai. The USA Pavilion, in partnership with the Committee of 100, will feature an exhibit on “The Chinese in America”. The objective is to show America’s unique strengths as a nation embracing diversity, offering freedom of choice and providing the opportunity for everyone to succeed.
Chinese Americans have the opportunity to be part of the the upcoming Shanghai Expo by submitting their photo, family name, place of ancestry and current city of residence in the U.S. for an exhibit displaying a video wall of photos of Chinese Americans (a small sample is shown here). You do need to select a Chinese surname to be placed under the specific surname family page. The example given is that your name can be listed as John Wong Smith and it would be placed with the Wong Family name page.
It’s expected the Expo will draw more than seventy million people and 200 nations for 180 days. The Committee of 100 is encouraging everyone of Chinese descent in the U.S.A. to submit their photos online to create The Wall of the Chinese in America. In the first week of their announcement, over 1000 photos have already been submitted for the wall. The goal is to reach 100,000 photos sorted by family name to demonstrate that “We are Family.”
You can upload your own photo at jointhewall.org. Everyone who is of Chinese descent is welcome to participate. Asianweek explains the idea behind the wall:
The idea for the wall came through a collaboration between Committee of 100 and Ogilvy Worldwide and is the only section specifically for Chinese in America. Since the video wall will be dynamic and attention getting, there are plans for certain effects to also highlight Chinese American achievements along with recognizing the Chinese in America. Chinese American achievers can be those who have contributed to important aspects of American life such as technology, the environment, the arts, sports, business, community service and government. It will show how America, as a cradle of freedom, helped shape these extraordinary pioneers.
If you’d like to contribute to the effort, you can make a donation at comebuildthewall.org. All donations are tax deductible.
I just recently completed my entry for the wall, and although I chose Fujian as my Chinese place of ancestry, I was happy to see that Taiwan was also included as a choice (please no flames about Taiwanese not being Chinese – if you choose to believe you’re Chinese that’s fine, and if you don’t that’s fine too). There’s also the ability for parents to submit pictures of their children (assuming you want to and you give consent).
George Koo, C100 member from Silicon Valley, commented about the wall: “This would be of special interest to the native Chinese, who no doubt would be the majority of people visiting the Shanghai Expo 2010, to look for and possibly see long lost relatives living in America.” I doubt any lost relatives will find me this way, but you never know.