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Festivities overseas as Beijing starts 100-day Olympic countdown

Updated:2008-05-02 08:54 | Source:xinhua.com

   BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Celebrations were planned and held in Brazilian, Egyptian, French and U.S. cities Wednesday as China started the 100-day countdown to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

    "100 days until Beijing 2008" will read the regressive countdown in Liberty Plaza, together with other mass activities in Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest city.

    The display will be revealed on May 1 along with the House of Beijing, a large area in which the Beijing Games will be broadcast to the public.

    The ceremony will be comprised of activities such as the dance of the dragon, the dance of the lion, a show of Chinese tambourines, a parade of traditional Chinese dress, along with the presence of the official mascots of the Beijing Games.

    Additionally, there will be work shops in Chinese calligraphy, origami, Chinese gastronomy and acupuncture.

    Sports Minister Orlando Silva, China's ambassador to Brazil, Chen Duqing, and Sun Rongmao of the Consulate General of China in Sao Paulo, will join the celebrations along with Brazilian congressmen and Olympic athletes.

    The director of the Department of Culture and Sport in the city of Sao Paulo, Daniel Guth, said the city expects between 6,000 to 8,000 people to participate in the celebration of the beginning of the countdown of the Olympic Games Thursday.

    During an interview with Xinhua, Guth explained that the House of Beijing is a pioneer initiative and "the first act of its kind", which will strengthen the links between the two countries in all aspects, from cultural to business.

    "We want to bring a little of China to Brazil," said Guth, who considers the initiative quite important for it will help resolve many misguided stereotypes that exist in Brazil about Chinese culture.

    He said that as the number of Chinese living in Sao Paulo steadily grows, the interest in knowing more about China is also growing day by day.

    The House of China will take advantage of the games and create a huge complex to transmit the sporting and cultural event, combining both sports lovers with those aficionado with the richness of Chinese culture.

    The Chinese Cultural Space will also provide residents in Sao Paulo with the chance to learn more about the philosophy, traditions and peculiarities of China with a culinary demonstration, a plastic arts display, music, fashion, dance, different religions throughout China, astrology, classes of tai-chi chuan as well as Mandarin.

    The public schools of the city will be taking their classes to the exposition to learn more about this ancient culture, taking advantage of the workshops, demonstrations and martial arts battles among others.

    The House of Beijing will also hold the Beijing Area where fans can watch live transmissions of the games throughout the competition. The House of Beijing will host a Commercial and Business Area.

    A ceremony was held here Tuesday to celebrate the 100-day countdown of the Beijing Olympics which fell Wednesday.

    In Egypt, some 100 young people, including Chinese diplomats, teachers and students of the Chinese language departments of Egyptian universities, participated in a ceremony at the Chinese Culture Center in Cairo.

    Wang Kejian, minister counselor of the Chinese embassy, said the games is not only a great event for the Chinese people but also an international sports event expected by peoples across the world.

    A series of activities, including an exhibition of the Beijing Games' pictures and the screen of the promotion films, were also held as part of the celebration.

    On the eve of the 100-day countdown of the Beijing Olympics, the young people of the two sides signed their names in support of the games and staged a friendly match of Ping-Pong.

    The Egyptian students also tried to play Chinese martial arts and make Chinese dumplings, two symbols of the Chinese culture.

    In Paris, many Chinese living in France and Chinese students watched live broadcast of the celebrations in Beijing marking the beginning of the 100-day countdown and gave best wishes to the Beijing Olympic Games.

    In the U.S. city of Chicago, some Chinese students celebrated the countdown on campus, putting on display the official mascots of the Beijing Games and pictures highlighting Beijing's scenic and Olympic sites at the University of Illinois.

Editor : Qin

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics