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Gansu thanks the world

GANSU Province, which was hit by a devastating mudslide early last month, began its culture week at the Expo yesterday with songs of thanksgiving, including one from kung fu star Jackie Chan especially written after the disaster to encourage survivors to be brave.

"People of the whole country will stand together with you and you must be able to stick out through the disaster," Chan said at the Baosteel Stage. He said he would be visiting Zhouqu County, site of the mudslide, soon.

About 20 rescue workers, including Armed Police officers and medical staff, and people who had donated money to help, were invited to watch the opening ceremony.

Eight Gansu children, some of whose parents had died in the disaster, sang on the stage to the warmest of applause.

"Children from Zhouqu will not cry no matter what disaster happened to us," they sang.

The province is giving away 300,000 tickets to its tourist attractions with a total value of 10 million yuan (US$1.48 million) to Expo visitors in gratitude for the help that came from around the world after the disaster.

The tickets offer free entry to 37 tourist spots in the province and will be available at the Baosteel Stage and the Gansu Pavilion until Wednesday.

A documentary about the latest conditions in the province and rescue work was screened at the pavilion yesterday and it is to be shown repeatedly from now on.

The culture week features many of the province's traditional folk arts including the making of luminous wine cups.

Artist Jia Sengdong will be polishing a type of special stone found in Tianshui City into cups so thin as to be transparent - the legendary luminous cup mentioned in China's ancient poems and historic books.

Song and dance performances will take place at Celebration Square in the Pudong Expo site at 3pm every day. A drama featuring folk dances and songs, "The Fantastic Deer of Nine Colors," will be staged at the Baosteel stage at 11:30am, 1pm and 4pm daily, followed by a parade at 5pm.

The flood-triggered mudslide in Zhouqu County on August 8 killed more than 1,400 people, and more than 300 are still missing.


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