Buddhists get teeth into 1997

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 June, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 June, 1996, 12:00am

What is a tooth for, other than chewing food? To mark the reversion of sovereignty to China.

It was revealed yesterday that local Buddhist groups had applied to the Chinese Government to have the Buddha's teeth sent to Hong Kong for exhibition after the handover.

It is expected at least 200,000 people will want to see the sacred teeth, which are currently kept in Beijing.

The Reverend Sik Kwok-kwong, the chairman of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association and a Preparatory Committee member, said the exhibition would last for 10 days from July 15 next year. Buddhists also planned to pray for the change of sovereignty continuously for seven days after midnight on June 30, 1997.

Another unusual method of marking the handover - a parachute jump - is also among the 15 proposals a Preparatory Committee sub-group has received.

The sub-group yesterday announced the formation of the Association for Celebration of Re-unification of Hong Kong with China, a body to organise non-governmental handover celebration activities. The 1,000-member association will start to recruit members this week.