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Centenary of Xinhai Revolution commemorated in Chicago

(Xinhua)

15:46, October 09, 2011

CHICAGO, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Members of both the Chinese and American communities met at Chicago's Chinatown Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of China's 1911 Revolution, or the Xinhai Revolution, which ended 2,000 years of imperial rule in China

The air was filled with both pride and excitement as Chicago's many different Chinese associations and groups marched in a parade down Honorary Sun Yat-Sen Way.

After an exhilarating firecracker display marking the beginning of the ceremony, 63 parade floats and countless people waving flags walked in the music of Chicago school marching bands as friends and family cheered from the sidelines.

After the parade, speakers such as Chinese Consul General Yang Guoqiang addressed the community on the importance of the Xinhai Revolution and what it means for China today.

"It means a lot to Chinese, it means to China -- and the world. And because of the Xinhai Revolution, because of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and his revolutionary practice, China came out of the shadow of the feudal system," said Yang in his speech.

"And it was because of that revolution that China today gets the opportunity, and that is why we call it the milestone for modern China."

Consul Yang told Xinhua that the Xinhai Revolution held special meaning to Chinese all over the world because it recognized the common goals that unite the Chinese community across international borders.

"We realize that we have lots of plans for China, and we have seen lots of things in that plan already realized. (The Chinese community) wants the motherland to be prosperous, the people in China living better, and also the motherland can be unified," Yang told Xinhua.

"We do hope that everybody in the world today supports this, and the Chinese will work even harder to have that day come earlier."

However, it was not just Chinese Americans who came out to commemorate the special occasion. Many other Americans also made the journey down to Chinatown to participate in the celebration and watch the parade.

Jason Swift, a local American, said he enjoys coming to Chinatown both in Chicago and his hometown of New York, and that events like these were great opportunities to learn more about the Chinese history and culture.

"Absolutely," Swift told Xinhua when being asked if he enjoyed the parade and if it was beneficial to his understanding of China. "It's how you meet people, and you learn about their culture, the language, their political point of view; you learn about their economic situation and how we can all work together."

The 1911 Revolution, which began on Oct. 10, 1911 with an armed uprising, toppled the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and resulted in a republican government, the first in Asia.

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