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Here at GlobalPost world headquarters, we're hearing from correspondents around the world about how the inauguration is playing in their hometowns.
Most of the people they have talked to are not watching the inauguration. They're searching for kumquats to celebrate the new year, or nonchalantly picking up their morning coffee.
Those who have heard of Obama express hope for his potential to fix the global economy or bring peace to troubled places.
I am personally awed watching the crowds stream into the national mall (while hoping the porta-potties can keep up!) I attended the first Bush inauguration in 2001 thanks to a friend who worked on Capitol Hill. After that divisive and contested election, the crowd was thin in front of the Capitol. But even then, seeing our nation switch leaders in peace, without arms, as it has for 220 years, was an inspiring site and one most of the world's people have yet to see in their own countries.