Kenya Week Celebrations: a platform for cross-cultural exchanges at EXPO2015

Kenya, with its long and deeply routed history in running, decided to crown the Kenya week celebrations with two major events: Kenya Expo Run and a Cultural Day.

For one afternoon, the Decumano, on the EXPO 2015 site was turned into a running track. Representatives from Expo 2015, Kenyan champions, Italian athletes and visitors, all took part in this first marathon organised in an Expo. The Kenya Expo Run incarnates the spirit of solidarity; indeed the pursuit of health and well-being is not an individual endeavour.

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Thomas Lokomwa, winner of the 2014 and 2015 Stramilano, Paul Tergat, marathon Champion, winner of the half marathon in 1998 in Milan and Ambassador Against Hunger in the UN World Food Programme and Lornah Kiplagat, world record holder for 5 kms, participated in the Kenya Expo Run.

Running in Kenya is part of a history, tradition and has become over the years an important feature of the Kenyan culture, politics and economy. The region of Iten, where most of the Kenyan top athletes originate from and a favourite training destination for international elite athletes, is now a flourishing region of Kenya that is also well-known for its tea and coffee production.

The Kenya Expo Run was an opportunity to promote healthy living, which is one of the fundamental aspects of EXPO 2015. The timing of Milan 2015, with its theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, coinciding with the target year of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goal, further contributes to making EXPO 2015 an important milestone in the global debate on food and sustainability.

Through their themes, Expos aim to support the efforts of the global community in promoting and advancing the subjects at the core of the well-being of the entire planet, in a spirit of cooperation. Healthy living is a theme that makes a special claim on international cooperation as it engages the responsibility of the entire international community. Solidarity is a keyword in this area.

The Kenya Cultural Day celebrated at Expo 2015 showcased different aspects Kenya's diversity, highlighting both traditional and contemporary facets of its rich culture.

The true meaning behind the importance of the Kenya Week celebration is that Expos are platforms for international dialogue as well as multicultural and cross-disciplinary event undertaken by the international community.