Hainan Province Receives Olympic Torch

During a three-day journey in south China's Hainan Province, the Olympic torch relay has received warm welcome by all the Hainan people, including ethnic Li, Miao and Hui.

China's southernmost province is home to 38 ethnic groups and an ethnic population of 1 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.

Meanwhile, they expressed their best wishes by performing folk songs and dances. "It's wonderful and exciting. I'm so proud of my country," said Wanma, a Tibetan young man living in the resort city of Sanya.

Born in Shigatse, a city some 250 kilometers west of Lhasa, the25-year-old youth 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 will 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 torchbearers. 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 honor for me to run as the last torchbearer, 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 townees touch it, to feel the charm and spirit of the Olympics.

Torchbearer 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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