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Friendlies to Make New Friends Round the World
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Setting off to tour the world are the Five Friendlies, the mascots of the Beijing Olympics, and they'll be taking with them a message of friendship, peace and goodwill, announced Wang Hui, vice-director of the Communications and Media Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) at a ceremony launching the global journey held in Beijing on Monday evening.

The Olympic mascots' first stop is the United States where the five Chinese cartoon characters, also known as Fuwa, will tour sporting venues, perform fairy-tale dramas and participate in fun and games with local people both young and old. 

Each Fuwa symbolizes a different blessing and they'll carry that simple blessing to people all around the world.

"Prosperity, happiness, passion, health and good luck will be spread to every continent as the Fuwa carry an invitation to Beijing 2008 to all parts of the globe," said Wang.

An acrobatic and dramatic fairy tale was staged after the ceremony. The drama tells the story of how the Fuwa fought five monsters in ancient times and brought peace to the world.

The five cartoon characters are Fuwa Beibei the Fish, Jingjing the Panda, Huanhuan the Flame, Yingying the Tibetan Antelope and Nini the Swallow. They use wisdom, courage and strength to defeat the story's monsters one by one.

After their victory Huanhuan becomes the Olympic Flame and all five Fuwa are ambassadors of friendship and peace.

"The cartoon figures are clever, brave and full of love," said 10-year-old Huang Penghao after watching the drama. "

"I hope the Five Friendlies can deliver a message for me when they meet foreign children," said Huang. "I want to tell other children that Beijing has many delicious foods and beautiful scenic spots."

(China Daily August 9, 2006)


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