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SHA's speech at "Culture in Motion: Nepal" (With photos)
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    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, at the opening ceremony of "Culture in Motion: Nepal" today (January 14) (English only):

Mr Hem L Bhattarai, Mr Hejen Rai, distinguished guests, fellow citizens, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am very pleased to officiate at this "Culture in Motion íV Nepal" cultural programme. Let me, first of all, welcome all of you here.

     This is the sixth of the series in which we in the Home Affairs Bureau join hands with the many ethnic communities in Hong Kong to showcase their unique cultural characteristics and heritage. Through this programme, we aim to encourage better understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures which, together, make up this cosmopolitan city and contribute to its success. We also hope to foster a stronger sense of community belonging and a sense of pride as well as mutual respect among our people, irrespective of their origin.

     In keeping with the Government's policy commitment and in appreciation of community aspirations, the Home Affairs Bureau has been actively promoting racial harmony and racial equality, to enable all people in our community to enjoy freedom and equal opportunities in their daily lives regardless of race and ethnic origin. We do this though education, encouragement, publicity and administrative measures. We have further introduced the Race Discrimination Bill into the Legislative Council last month. This, when enacted, will strengthen existing safeguards for equal treatment of all members of the public, irrespective of their race.

     For over a century, generations of Nepalese compatriots have settled in Hong Kong. They have taken root and become an integral part of our society. Not only have they helped shape the economic success of the community, they have also brought with them the fine tradition and heritage of the Nepalese culture. I see that we have people from different regions and cultural backgrounds here this afternoon. I hope you would enjoy the show and appreciate the specialties of the Nepalese culture.

     The event this afternoon has been made possible by the strong support and collaboration of the Consulate General of Nepal, the Hong Kong Nepalese Federation, and the members of the Nepalese community in Hong Kong including more than 50 volunteers who have worked so hard to make this show a success. I also thank all the performers and artists who have come to share their talents with us. I am sure we will have a most enjoyable and memorable afternoon here today.

     As we have just entered 2007, I take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous and happy New Year. Thank you.

Ends/Sunday, January 14, 2007
Issued at HKT 17:06

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