Torch relay showed a Hong Kong united by Olympic dream

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2008, 12:00am

The Olympic torch relay on May 2 turned a new page in the history of Hong Kong.

For the first time, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people thronged the streets in support of the Beijing Olympic Games.

They demonstrated unprecedented unity and solidarity in celebrating the world event. Spectators were overwhelmed by the large number of red T-shirts and flags lining the relay route; the thunderous shouting of 'China Go For It!'; the chasing of the torch by enthusiasts along the pedestrian walkways, and the smiling faces and loud cheers that greeted the torch bearers. The relay was able to 'Light the Passion' for Hong Kong.

For the first time also, Hong Kong put its best foot forward to present to the world its uniqueness as the gateway to China.

The Olympic torch was relayed by a variety of means - dragon boats, riding horses, and golf carts. The cosmopolitan torch bearers, who came from all walks of life and whom the public generally approved, further displayed the city's diversity and harmony.

More importantly, the relay gave Hong Kong the chance to show its adroit blending of oriental tradition with western freedom of expression. Protesters came on the scene, albeit small in numbers, but they were simply taken for granted by other spectators.

After all, the Olympics has nothing to do with politics and people understood well that the happy occasion was no place for promoting controversy, at least not in Hong Kong.

Thus, the relay proceeded smoothly and in an orderly fashion, without a hitch all the way.

It was a solid testimony to an integrated, tolerant Hong Kong community.

The torch relay showed Hong Kong people's spontaneous love for their country in its best light.

It lit up their in-born patriotic feelings and national pride spurred on by the mainland's rapid development and progress.

Taking it one step further, Hong Kong is ready to 'Share the Dream' of peace and harmony with people the world over.

Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels