SCED's speech at OzAsia Festival eye-dotting ceremony and reception in Adelaide (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the OzAsia Festival eye-dotting ceremony and reception in Adelaide today (August 14, Adelaide time):
The Honourable Jack Snelling (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Health Industries and Leader of Government Business in State Parliament of South Australia), Mr Douglas Gautier (Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. Thank you for having me on this auspicious occasion, an occasion to celebrate our friendships. I am indeed delighted to see so many friends joining us today at this ceremony.
In Chinese culture, dragons symbolise prosperity, abundance, vitality, consistent success and achievement. With sponsorship from our Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office based in Australia, the OzAsia Festival this year will feature the display and parade of a 36-metre-long dragon lantern, called the Hong Kong Dragon, at Elder Park during the Moon Festival.
In a moment, we will be dotting the eyes of the Hong Kong Dragon. According to Chinese traditions, this eye-dotting ritual is to awaken the dragon. I hope that this dragon will bring to Adelaide not just goodwill, but also the friendship of the people of Hong Kong, and a taste of our heritage and culture.
Adelaide and Hong Kong are thousands of miles apart, but we do share something in common, and that is how we cherish and celebrate cultural diversity. I am impressed by the richness of the art and cultural programmes here that bring colours to people's life, adding to the long list of qualities that make Adelaide one of the most liveable and energetic cities.
In a similar sense, Hong Kong is a melting pot where the East meets the West, and where people from across the globe come together. Visitors can enjoy extraordinary cuisine, bustling street scenes and world-class attractions, all in a multicultural and multilingual environment. You already know that Hong Kong is an international financial centre and trading hub. What you may not know is that Hong Kong also has sandy beaches and scenic hiking trails that are only half an hour away from our central business district. I encourage and welcome you all to come and experience our unique and interesting city.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank OzAsia, and in particular Douglas and his team, for the long-standing support in bringing Hong Kong culture to South Australia. I understand that OzAsia has been screening Hong Kong movies in the past few years. With no exception this year, OzAsia will stage a retrospective of critically acclaimed movies of the Hong Kong director Ann Hui.
Although watching movies is a convenient way to get to know and appreciate a foreign culture, there is really no better way than to visit the place yourself. Again, I would like to extend my warm invitation to you all to come visit Hong Kong, whether for business or for pleasure. There is plenty to do and see for everyone. And I would ensure that our hospitality will certainly exceed your expectations.
Thank you very much.
Friday, August 14, 2015