SHENYANG, China, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/. The northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang is celebrating sending smiles around the world after five years of a government-run project to boost its image at home and abroad.
A ceremony was held in Shengyang, the capital and largest city of China's Liaoning Province, to honor those who have played a key role in the "Shenyang Smile" campaign on 8 May 2017.
The initiative, first launched by the city's publicity department in 2012, is said to have touched millions of people around the globe, mainly through "drifting books" - blank journals that positive messages are written in before being handed on to others.
According to the Shenyang government, such books have forged tens of thousands of paths over the last half-decade, making their way to countries as far afield as France, USA and Japan.
On the ceremony, three awards were set to reward a group of people who had made a great contribution to "Shenyang Smile" in these 5 years. The "Practice and Strength of Shenyang Smile" honored those seen as personal advocates of the Smile campaign. An award for the "Contemplative Faculty of Shenyang Smile" was handed to a group commended for explaining the concept of Shenyang Smile, building a consensus around it, and inspiring action. The award for "Transmitting Shenyang Smile" was granted to assorted local media for spreading the spirit of smile.
Among the representatives of this award was a taxi driver named Teng, known locally as "Smiling Brother". Teng broke into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015 after taking 30,000 selfies with his passengers. Teng has since posted his photos on Chinese social media sites such as Weibo, a microblog similar to Twitter, and earned himself celebrity status, appearing on countless TV shows and even previously winning an award as Shenyang's "Most Beautiful Transportation Worker." He has also been named a brand ambassador for Shenyang Smile.
"It is universal in its ability to convey everybody's mood and thoughts." In a statement, the Shenyang Municipal Government said, "Smiles make foreign places feel like home. Smiles make indifference turn to warmth. We believe that we will create more miracles by the spreading of smiles."
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