Remarks at the Olympic Festival Beijing 2008
2008/08/08

Dr. Karain Singh, President of India Council for Cultural Relations

Mr. Tarun Thakral, Chief Operating Officer of Le Meridien New Delhi,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, La Meridien New Delhi, the Stamps Today maganize and Chinese Embassy jointly organize this Olympic Festival, with an aim to promote the Olympic spirit and culture. I would like to welcome all guests present here tonight and express my sincere thanks to La Meridien and the Stamps Today for their great efforts.

Stamps are known as an effective means in disseminating the Olympic culture. It helps deliver the message and spirit of Olympics to the doorstep of every household around the world. The history of the modern Olympics has recorded close cooperation and collaboration with the postal industry. Thanks to the fund raised by issuing stamps, the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896 carried out successfully. Since Seoul Olympics 1988, Olympic Philatelic Exhibition has been made a common practice of the host country.

Today's Festival will exhibit stamps issued by China, India and several other countries to commemorate the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game as well as the previous Games. Stamps with different artistic style display the unforgettable moments in the history of sports, showing the rich heritage of Olympics over more than 100 years. After viewing these stamps, you will acquire a better understanding of Olympic value of "Friendship, Respect, and Excellence" and the Olympic spirit of "Faster, Higher, and Stronger".

At this festival, besides stamps, you will also find pictures showing a new Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. Traditional Chinese handicrafts, musical instruments, paintings and delicious Chinese food are also presented for you to experience the charming and splendid culture of China. You can also feel Chinese people's passion for Olympic Games and their great hospitality extend to guests from all countries. I hope through this Olympic festival, the mutual understanding and the good will between people of China and India as well as the people all over the world will be further enhanced.

Two days later, 2008 Olympic Games will be open in Beijing. This is a historical moment, for it is the first time for the Olympics to be held in a developing country with one fifth of world's population and ancient civilization. After seven years' preparation, Beijing is ready and China is ready to welcome athletes and guests from all countries. "One world, One dream" is the theme of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing Olympic Games belongs to the world. Its success depends on the joint efforts of all countries. Today, I am happy to see so many Indian friends and colleagues from diplomatic missions present here. With your supports, China is going to present to the world an excellence Olympic feast.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4 months ago, in this very hotel, Le Meridien, the Beijing Olympic flame began its journey in New Delhi. Thanks to the cooperation from the Indian government, the Olympic Torch relay in New Delhi was concluded smoothly and successfully. Today, with the Olympic Festival inaugurated here, I am confident that the passion and flame of Olympics will be carried on. I hope friends present here tonight can share with all Chinese people the Olympic dream and feel the passion of Olympic, discover the charm of Beijing! Thank you!

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