Shanghai sends out smile squads

Teams urging residents to smile at tourists for the 2010 World Expo.

    A survey has indicated that only 2 per cent
    of Chinese people smile at strangers

    "We smile at the mirror to determine whether our smiles are acceptable"

    Xu Xiaohong,
    smile team leader

    The group carried out its first "smiling task" on Saturday at a local theatre, where they grinned at every visitor and asked people if they needed help.

    Xu said the smilers would be recruiting more members and teams would be deployed at the 2010 World Expo, which has been touted by the Shanghai government as a coming-of-age party for the East Asian boomtown.

    Attempts to generate warmth among strangers in China have had mixed success.

    In October, volunteers offering "free hugs" to people in a busy shopping street in Beijing were detained by police for questioning.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.