“Fake” ethnic minority children at Olympic opening ceremony

August 15th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 15 (DPA) The children wearing traditional costumes displaying the unity of China’s 56 ethnic groups at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games were all members of the Han Chinese majority, an official confirmed Friday. Wang Wei, vice-president of Beijing’s organising committee BOCOG confirmed news reports, saying the practice was “completely normal.”

“It is a tradition in China that at events costumes of the different ethnic groups are worn to symbolize that they live together peacefully and in happiness,” he said.

An official guide to the opening stated that the children came from the 56 ethnic groups.

He accused a journalist as being “overly meticulous”, who questioned how Han Chinese could portray Tibetans or Uighurs, groups where considerable tension with the government existed.

“That is not worth mentioning,” Wang said.

The “fake” minority children are the third exposed manipulation of the opening ceremony, which was watched by around 2 billion people worldwide.

Earlier reports unveiled that the little girl performing the “Hymn to the Motherland” was lip-synching to a pre-recorded voice of another girl. The original singer was banned from performing because a high-ranking party functionary regarded her not pretty enough.

Chinese state TV CCTV also reported that images of 29 footprint fireworks at the opening night had been partly generated by computer graphics and were digitally enhanced.

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