Seniors participate in a Chongyang Festival ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Monday. The event, also called the Double Ninth Festival, celebrates filial piety. [XU YU / XINHUA]
President urges elders in Macao to tell youths more about SAR's early days
President Xi Jinping called for carrying forward the spirit of "loving the motherland and loving Macao" when replying to a letter from 30 senior residents in the Macao Special Administrative Region ahead of the traditional Chongyang Festival on Monday.
To mark the event also known as the Double Ninth Festival, a day to respect the elderly that falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, Xi extended his greetings and best wishes in the letter dated on Sunday to seniors around the country.
Xi said that when he read a letter from 30 senior residents of an elderly care center of the Macao General Neighborhood Unions Association, he remembered meeting with them in Macao 10 years ago. He had visited the city in his capacity as vice-president.
"I'm happy to learn that you are passionate about public welfare activities and live a full and happy life after retiring," Xi said.
Saying they are of same generation as New China, Xi added that the seniors in Macao have witnessed tremendous changes that have taken place in the motherland over decades as well as the successful implementation of "one country, two systems" in Macao.
"You said in the letter you were proud of being Chinese, and I'm confident you represent the universal voices of all Macao people," he said.
Xi called on elderly people to continue to tell young people more stories about Macao before and after its return to the motherland, encourage young people to be actively engaged in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and join hands to build an even more beautiful Macao.
Xi visited Macao in January 2009, when the SAR was being affected by the international financial crisis. Despite his busy schedule during the two-day visit, he stopped by the elderly care facility.
Thirty seniors from the facility wrote to Xi recently, telling him about developments and changes Macao has undergone since it returned to the motherland in December 1999 and also expressing their strong sense of pride as Chinese, as well as their firm determination to carry forward the spirit of "loving the motherland and loving Macao".
It wasn't the first time that Xi had replied to a letter from senior residents at that elderly care center in Macao. Some two months after he visited Macao in 2009, he received a letter from a group of elderly people from the facility and replied on March 20, expressing the hope that they would uphold and carry on the patriotic tradition.