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People in The Quake-Hit Areas Mark The First Dragon Boat Festival after Disaster
    2008-06-09 10:04:59     CRIENGLISH.com

Anchor: Sunday was the traditional Dragon Boat Festival in China. And this was the first Dragon Boat Festival under the government's new national holiday plan. Usually, people would reunite with family on this day, but what about the people in the earthquake-hit areas? Our reporter He Fei was in a temporary shelter near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Let's hear more from her.

Reporter:
"Today is Dragon Boat Festival."

"We usually eat zongzi and pickled eggs during Dragon Boat Festival. We also cook a chicken and a duck."

"It is Dragon Boat Festival. Besides zongzi and pickled eggs, today we also have four dishes including chicken, tomatoes, fried pork with pepper and Chinese cabbage. The life here is good and I really appreciate what the government has done for us."

A temporary shelter has been set up in the suburbs of Chengdu for the victims of the earthquake. The shelter was converted from a vocational school and has been named Home of Love. The shelter residents are spending their Dragon Boat Festival happily eating zongzi, or glutinous rice dumplings.

Zhang Yi is in charge of the dinning hall at the shelter. She says they began preparing for the festival five days ago.

"In order to give our residents a festive atmosphere, we prepared Zongzi and pickled eggs for everyone. And we have a larger variety of dishes today. Although they've lost their homes and even loved ones, we hope to comfort them and provide a festival atmosphere through our efforts and love."

An official from the local sanitation department checks the residents' food near the dinning hall.

"The food we bought, like today's zongzi, must be produced through regular channels. The food must have a sanitation license, a date of production and a guaranteed edible period as well as the name and the address of the factory. Only those that are up to our sanitary standards can be served in our dinning hall."

The local sanitation department sends inspectors to the shelter every day to guarantee the safety of the food. They supervise the entire process from storage to processing to the final product.

Besides special food the young people at the Home of Love are also taking part in a basketball game with the volunteers. A large red banner hangs in the playground proclaiming "Our Friendship, our Dragon Boat Festival. We Are Together."

Mao Shou is one of the volunteers and an organizer of the friendly competition.

"Since today is the Dragon Boat Festival, we decided to have a basketball game with the young people, in hopes of strengthening our friendship. We do our best to supply them with good living conditions and a healthy mental environment to help them to deal with the natural disaster."

Right now, about 900 victims are living in the Home of Love. They are from Dujiangyan as well some of the other hardest-hit areas. The temporary shelter has a nursery, reading and entertainment rooms and some sports facilities. Meals and daily necessities are all supplied by the government free of charge.

He Fei, CRI News, Sichuan Province.

 
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