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Meet the Mascots


The Beijing Daily newspaper reported this weekend that nearly 3,500 children recently born in China have been named after the upcoming Olympic Games, which are scheduled to take place in Beijing this summer. But the Olympic fever doesn't end there. Another 4,000 have names that come from the Fuwa, the five official 2008 Olympic mascots, who were "designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends." The Fuwa include Beibei (a Fish), Jingjing (a Panda), Huanhuan (an Olympic Flame), Yingying (a Tibetan Antelope) and Nini (a Swallow).

The "Five Friendlies," as the Fuwa are also known, have surprisingly well-developed personalities. Consider:

Jing Jing (pictured): Jingjing makes children smile — and that's why he brings the blessing of happiness wherever he goes. You can see his joy in the charming naivety of his dancing pose and the lovely wave of his black and white fur. As a national treasure and a protected species, pandas are adored by people everywhere. The lotus designs in Jingjing's headdress, which are inspired by the porcelain paintings of the Song Dynasty (A.D.960-1234), symbolize the lush forest and the harmonious relationship between man and nature. Jingjing was chosen to represent our desire to protect nature's gifts — and to preserve the beauty of nature for all generations. Jingjing is charmingly na├»ve and optimistic. He is an athlete noted for strength who represents the black Olympic ring.

2008 Beijing Olympics: Olympic Mascots


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