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Beaming volunteers show Shanghailanders how to smile

What city wouldn't want to put its best foot forward when hosting a major international event? Certainly Shanghai, China, does when it hosts the 2010 World Expo. But long before visitors arrive, the city, which is booming economically but doesn't want to blow a golden opportunity, has identified that it has a problem. According to the China Daily, a survey conducted by a local chewing-gum manufacturer revealed that only 2 percent of Chinese people said that they smile at strangers. This certainly won't do when the world's fair is on, so Shanghai, which has established "Better City – Better Life" as the theme of the expo, has formed a team of 40 university students to hit the streets and demonstrate how to smile. These "smiling volunteers" first showed up at a local theater and will be recruiting more members to join them in other public places. And because it's important that their smiles convey a genuine welcome, the members practice them at home. Team leader Xu Xiaohong says the group isn't satisfied just grinning from ear to ear. "We not only smile with our mouths, but also with our eyes," he explains.


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