I’m loathe to perpetuate such an ugly phrase as “Axis of Evil,” but someone on the Expo 2010 planning committee must have had it in mind when it was decided that Iran and North Korea would be pavilion neighbors.
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I hate to use the term because it’s terribly, destructively generalizing. Iran and North Korea are, first of all, vastly different countries in almost every conceivable way. And both are filled mostly with regular people who are more like you and me than than either party realizes. They just happen to live in countries with political leaders who are crazy.
After touring the two pavilions, I must say that the North Korean governments’s uniquely oblivious brand of crazy comes across very well. Iran’s pavilion, however, is filled with very friendly people and is, on the whole, not that weird at all.
Regardless, these two countries don’t get many chances to openly tout what makes them great here in the west, and it’s interesting to see how they represent themselves. Only at the World’s Fair!