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Overseas celebrations start on 100-day Olympic countdown
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Celebrations were planned and held in Brazilian, Egyptian, French and U.S. cities on 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.

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