In the past two months, Hong Kong has warmed up for celebrating the 10th anniversary of its return to the Chinese motherland with all kinds of anniversary-related activities.
On May 25, a large-scale Buddha symphony performance was held in Hong Kong to bless Hong Kong and the whole country.
The day before, nearly 10,000 believers attended a ceremony to celebrate the Buddha's birthday and also the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return.
On May 6, some 40,000 young people joined a parade and performance in Hong Kong island to show up their happiness with the anniversary of Hong Kong's return.
Before that, the name-picking for pandas given as gifts by the central government, the competition for bunting design, the choosing of harmonious families, a long-list of other activities were organized to usher Hong Kong residents to the joyful day which falls on July 1.
Since April 1, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has begun to prepare for the celebration activities. According to the Celebrations Co-ordination Office, the HKSAR government will organize 460 events with the help of people from all walks of life in Hong Kong and the celebration will last for half a year till October 1, the National Day.
On July 1, 1997, China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong.
In the past ten years, Hong Kong, along with the Chinese mainland, has experimented successfully the principle of "one country, two systems." It also won through the Asian financial crisis, global economic depression and SARS, among other difficulties, and consolidated its position as a financial, trade and shipping center in the world.
"It's a special year for Hong Kong as we are now in the 10th year of return to the motherland," said Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, chief executive of the HKSAR, at the beginning of the year. "The HKSAR government will launch a number of large-scale celebration programs in Hong Kong, mainland, and even overseas to show the achievements we made under the 'one country, two systems' principle."
According to the local government, the celebration activities include ceremonial and celebration events, commissioning of infrastructure projects, major exhibitions and conferences, as well as various cultural, sports, community and district events.
"The activities have covered all fields and will be held across the 18 districts of Hong Kong," said Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor, permanent secretary for home affairs of the HKSAR government. " These activities will exhibit fully a dynamic, pluralistic, and harmonious Hong Kong."
Currently, the preparation for community activities are in full swing. Tsuen Wan will launch a fireworks display and a parade, In Tai Po, a carnival and several nights' theatrical performances will be held. Sai Kung will focus on the dragon boat competition which will be participated by competitors from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan Province.
In addition to government-sponsored activities, non-government organizations are also contributing a share to the celebrations.
The Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce, which is well-known in Hong Kong, will not only sponsor a batch of Chiu Chow operas in the coming month but also join hands with 10 other organizations including Hong Kong's Guangdong Chamber of Commerce and Hainan Chamber of Commerce to hold a series of performances special for 60,000 children born in 1997.
(Xinhua News Agency May 27, 2007)