Arab News Japan
The Merry Project, a Japanese non-profit organization is organizing an event entitled “Merry Expo In DUBAI” sponsored by the Expo 2025 Japan International Exposition Association /Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) that will run from March 26 to March 31 around the Expo 2020 Dubai venue.
The initiative, which started at Expo 2005 Aichi with an aim to spread smiles through several projects has expanded beyond the city’s borders over the past 17 years and have hosted at the Osaka Expo 40th Anniversary Event, the Shanghai Expo, the London Olympics, the Rio Olympics, and the Tokyo Olympics.
The project features two events including the “Merry Umbrella” which will take place on Sunday, March. 27 at 11:00AM and 14:30 PM in front of the Japan pavilion, and “Merry Smile Kite ” which will take place on the same day from 15:00 PM to 18:00 PM at Al Forsan Park / Al Forsan Zone.
The “Merry Umbrella” event features umbrellas with pictures of smiling children from all over the world printed on them to convey “hope for the future, and connect the smile baton to the Osaka /Kansai Expo.”
The act of opening umbrellas with smiles printed on them is supposed to connect both fairs through displaying their shared objective of spreading positive messages of hope.
Likewise, the “Merry Smile Kite” event features kites with pictures of smiling children from all over the world printed on them to convey a similar message.
The act of flying these kites is meant to symbolically transmit the message of “spreading smiles” as the kites would “soar into the sky in the wind of hope.”
Umbrellas and gozas or traditional Japanese woven mats will be distributed at the venue to be used separately by each person while maintaining social distance.
Expo 2020 Dubai’s visitor numbers have reached more than 11 million, according to statements by organizers released this week, and the Merry Project displays an interesting way of bridging Dubai to Osaka as a site for the next Expo iteration, by allowing visitors to experience Japanese culture, while simultaneously bringing home the themes of diversity, hope and peace.