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Kong Peng
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Kong Peng

"The Olympic flame will enlighten the whole family of Confucius. And the glory belongs to not me, but all my great ancestors," Kong Peng, the 74th-generation descendant of Confucius told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Kong was the No. 1 torch bearer in the Beijing Olympic torch relay Qufu leg, eastern China's Shandong province.

Qufu is legendary for the people of China and east Asian countries as the hometown of Confucius, a great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th-5th centuries B.C.

"After passing on the flame, I would try to absorb new things from the Olympics, the Greek culture, and introduce them to my fellow countrymen," said Kong.

As a tour guide, Kong's major task is to introduce the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion to tourists from all over the world.

Besides Confucianism, Kong studied other classics of traditional Chinese culture and history. He was the tour guide of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and many other VIPs during their visits at Qufu.

Though Confucius has been dead for 2,500 years, his family just keeps growing and growing, his descendants are now living in China and across the globe.

Based on his family tree, it is estimated at least three million descendants of Confucius are living in the world, including 2.5 million on the Chinese mainland.

"With centuries of development, my family members scattered all around the world, with different background and religious belief," Kong said, "It's the same with the Olympic family I guess. We share one world, one dream, which in my opinion, is to respect each other, to live and let live, and to share the happiness brought by the Olympics."

"It's also what Confucius taught his disciples 2500 years ago," Kong added.

A total of 100 torchbearers participated in the 5.1-kilometer leg of the Olympic torch relay in Qufu. It was the third stop of the torch relay's 3-day Shandong leg after Qingdao and Linyi.

(Xinhua News Agency July 23, 2008)

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