China has changed significantly, not just for women but also for the entire nation. 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the reform and opening up, and this year the Olympics will be held in Beijing. "We are enjoying the fruits of a relatively well off and harmonious society," Gu told the assembly.
After her short but rousing speech a wonderful show began. The audience watched a team of young girls called "Flying Dragon" play traditional Chinese drums. Next, a series of fashion shows entranced the audience. The first show displayed all the exotic and fabulous costumes worn by China's ethnic minorities. A very sensual and feminine Qipao parade followed, with a Tibetan fashion parade, a Mongolian male dance and a string of top models for the New Silk Road Troupe.
The second half of the fashion show involved the audience. Over 25 Arabic women got up on stage and showed off their lovely costumes. Latin America followed, with flamboyant costumes and a lively dance. Then a group from Iberia-Latin America performed on the catwalk, wowing the audience. But it was the beat and rhythm of the African dancer that made the crowd go wild. They swayed and stretched and others from the audience were so hypnotized that they joined in as well.
To close the meeting a very beautiful young woman named Tan Jing sang the Olympic theme: "One World, One Dream" and invited little children on the stage with her. All the performers walked onto the stage for a group goodbye, with the women complimenting each other on their dances, dress and beauty. This event was truly an international, warm-hearted and enjoyable way to celebrate both the unity and diversity of women in Beijing.
(China.org.cn by Valerie Sartor, March 8, 2008)