Overseas Chinese continue mourning victims of deadly earthquake in China

2008-05-22 08:28:07 GMT       2008-05-22 16:28:07 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Overseas Chinese around the world continued mourning the victims of the deadly earthquake that jolted southwestern China on May 12.

In Copenhagen, nearly 500 Chinese in Denmark held a candlelight vigil for the victims at a downtown square on Wednesday night. They also read a poem to express their condolences. Some Danish people also took part in the event.

The Chinese Danes will spare no efforts to aid the victims, Ye Zongli, secretary-general of the Chinese association in this northern European country, told Xinhua by phone.

In Kenya's capital of Nairobi, over 100 ethnic Chinese gathered at the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday evening, observing a three-minute silence around candles which formed a shape of the Chinese map to mourn the dead in the disaster.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Ming said the people in the disaster areas, with the full support from the whole China and the international community, will overcome difficulties and rebuild their homes.

A similar candlelight memorial was held in the Chinatown of Johannesburg, South Africa, on the same day. Nearly 1,000 delegates of Chinese communities in the country and some South Africans attended the event.

Fang Li, general consul of the Chinese Consulate-General in Johannesburg, recited a poem titled "Baby, If You are Still Alive, Please Remember Mom Loves You Forever," which moved almost all into tears.

In Bangladesh, the Chinese Embassy also held a candlelight memorial. Dozens of candles were lit and laid on the floor in the embassy hall, forming a big heart-shaped design with the numbers 5.12 inside, the day when the earthquake occurred.

Facing northeast, the direction of China, all the embassy staff, many of them with tears in their eyes, were standing silently in front of the candles, praying for the victims.

"Today, we are holding the candlelight memorial activity to mourn for the victims of the earthquake and also show our respect to those who are involved in the rescue and relief operation in the disaster zone," Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zheng Qingdian said.

A public memorial ceremony was held at the Chinese Consulate-General in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday evening to mourn those who lost their lives in the earthquake.

Nearly 300 consulate staff and overseas Chinese in Brazil observed a three-minute silence to the dead, at a temporary mourning hall with wreaths and white flowers on the floor and photos and news stories on China's relief efforts posted on walls.

Dozens of Chinese in Russia also held a candlelight poem recitation to express their condolences to the victims of the disaster.

The earthquake, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, hit China's Sichuan Province on May 12. Over 40,000 people have been confirmed dead in the disaster.

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