Ethnic people welcome Olympic torch relay in south China

May 6th, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by admin  

Haikou (China), May 6 (Xinhua) During a three-day journey in south China’s Hainan Province, the Beijing Olympic torch relay received warm welcome by the Hainan people, including ethnic Li, Miao and Hui. China’s southernmost province is home to 38 ethnic groups and an ethnic population of one million. When the Olympic torch relay toured Sanya, Wuzhishan, Wanning and Qionghai, ethnic people were all along the relay route, cheering and chanting support for the Olympics.

The Olympic Games will be held Aug 8-24.

Meanwhile, people expressed their best wishes for the torch relay by performing folk songs and dances.

“It’s wonderful and exciting. I’m so proud of my country,” said Wanma, a Tibetan youngster living in the resort city of Sanya.

Born in Shigatse, a city some 250 kilometres west of Lhasa, Wanma, 25, now works as a staff at a scenic spot in Sanya.

Wanma said it’s not only his dream but also the wish of all the Chinese people including the Tibetan people that the Olympic Games be held in China.

Pu Guizhen, a senior man of the ethnic Hui group, greeted the Olympic flame with his sons and grandchildren. They waved red flags and Olympic flags, rooting for the torch-bearers.

Over 7,000 Hui people live in the Fenghuang Town of Sanya. As the Olympic flame passed by, they all put on traditional clothes and welcomed the sacred flame with their special greetings.

“It’s a great honour for me to run as the last torch-bearer, and I hope I can show the charm of both Sanya and Li people,” said Pu Huifang, head of Tianya Town, who ran together with movie star Jackie Chan.

Pu said she would take the Olympic torch to her town and let her fellow residents touch it to feel the charm and spirit of the Olympics.

Torch-bearer Lu Deping, a representative of ethnic Miao, ran the second leg in Wuzhishan city. “It is a moment of life for me,” he exclaimed.

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