Denmark and China should increasingly engage in more cultural exchanges, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark says.
"There is a Danish-Chinese business forum. However I think we've reached a time in the Danish-Chinese relations, where we should focus on cultural exchanges," the Danish crown prince said in an interview Thursday with Xinhua prior to his trip to the Shanghai World Expo for the Danish national pavilion day scheduled for June 29.
The crown prince acknowledges that the Shanghai World Expo can help a lot in that aspect.
"A business forum is obviously a small forum when looking for cultural exchanges. So I hope that we can broaden out the cultural exchanges to the man in the street, and accelerate them. One of the good accelerators can be the World Expo, which can help show Danish culture, values and way of living in the city."
In this aspect, the crown prince, who himself is an avid sports enthusiast, hopes to see competitive sports play a role as a global unifier.
"Doing sports together will be a great approach between people. For example with the World Cup in South Africa, you see a lot of tourists to the country, where they can experience different cultures and such. It's very positive with big sports events," said the crown prince.
THE DANISH PAVILION A SUCCESS AT THE WORLD EXPO
The Danish pavilion at the World Expo has received a lot of attention from Chinese and international media, not least because Denmark sent its national icon, the sculpture of Little Mermaid, to the World Expo on her first overseas voyage. The Danish pavilion has attracted a surprisingly high amount of visitors already and its visitor number reached one million on June 5.
"It is always good when your own country has success in a country like China, so I am very positive about it. The expectations were of course big, with that in mind it is always a comfort that there is this interest from the audience and that the expectations have been exceeded," he said.
It is not only Danish culture that has been a success at the World Expo. Denmark's alternative energy has been showcased as an example for the rest of the world.
"Denmark is a world leader in alternative energy sources, such as wind power. But we are also very good in minimizing and conserving the loss of energy in households and in general energy-saving solutions."
The Danish way of thinking in alternative solutions to energy challenges manifests itself not only in large-scale solutions. At the Danish pavilion at the World Expo, visitors are encouraged to experience the Danish way of life, by riding bicycles around the pavilion rather than take a bus or a taxi.
THE CROWN PRINCE ENJOYS STROLLS IN BIG CITIES
One thing the crown prince hopes that the World Expo can help with is making some viable solutions for the future challenges that cities all over the globe face.
"In my opinion, it is very important to break down barriers and to help people see things from other perspectives. Also I hope to see parts of the true lifestyle of every culture, which is part of the theme of this Expo," he said.
The crown prince himself has traveled and lived in many cities around the world. These include Copenhagen, Boston, Paris and Aarhus. He enjoys the very urban bustle of these cities.
"One of the things I enjoy is to just walk down the streets of a city, absorbing the city's atmosphere and listening to the sounds of the city and feel the city in all its senses. I never walk around with walkman."
A TIGHTLY PACKED SCHEDULE FOR THE CROWN PRINCE
However, that will probably not be an option for the crown prince next week, when he is visiting Shanghai. He will be driven around the city in an electric car and his schedule is tightly packed with meetings and visits.
The crown prince will open a football tournament with Chinese children in front of the Nordic Lighthouse in Shanghai next Monday. Besides taking part in the game, he will also present the winning team with the tournament trophy.
After that he will officially open "Danish Design Jewels," a unique, new exhibition displaying the best of world-renowned Danish design. He will join Danish Minister for Economy and Business Affairs Brian Mikkelsen at the exclusive Sino-Danish business conference "Going overseas -- how China's new global companies can benefit from choosing Denmark," and deliver a speech.
On June 29, the crown prince will visit the Danish pavilion on Denmark Day.
The crown prince has visited China twice. In 1986, he traveled to Inner Mongolia with a film crew and in 2008, he cheered for the Danish team at the Bejing Olympics.
"Back in 1986, when I was in Beijing, everyone was riding a bicycle. In 2008 there were no more bicycles left. In these last five years Copenhagen has especially been known for integrating bicycles into city traffic. I think Danish city planners can help integrate bicycles into the city."
The crown prince enjoys riding a mountain-bike for cross training. However, he may not have the opportunity to do cross training in China, as he will leave Shanghai for Hong Kong right after Denmark Day. In Hong Kong, the crown prince will visit local Danish companies.