The moment we’ve all been waiting for - the mascot of the Shanghai Expo has been unveiled. Well, I wasn’t waiting for it, but someone must have been. The China Daily tells us that Haibao (the blue thing) can now be seen on every corner in Shanghai. I will take that into consideration if I ever think of moving there.
The China Daily continues:
The audience responded with thunderous applause. “It’s very adorable,” said Gu Weiyi, a school kid. “I want a big mascot toy.”
The South China Morning Post (behind a paywall) obviously went to a different unveiling:
State media universally praised Haibao as “cute”, but people attending a ceremony yesterday to unveil the mascot, which was televised live nationwide, reacted with confusion.
“I’m very confused about what it stands for. Could it be a drop of water?” said Huang Wei, a retired worker.
Now that’s not the right attitude at all. As every newspaper here points out, Haibao is short for treasure of the four seas. It has the shape of the character for “person” to show that the Expo is people-centered, while the color blue represents the world, dreams, the ocean, the future and technology. Isn’t that obvious?
Readers of Sina.com don’t seem to think so. Although a sizable minority does think Haibao is very cute, just as many say the creature looks like a toothpaste advert. Or a condom. (How many people are supposed to wear it? It’s got two openings!) Despite all the criticism, a few people believe that Haibao will grow on us as time goes on. I’m not so sure, but maybe they’re right. Even I’m starting to quite like the logo for the 2012 Olympics - the man with a big afro buggering London.
I hope he’s using a Haibao.