Colorful opening for Costa Rica’s National Stadium inauguration

  • by crv.staff
  • 29.03.11
  • 12:59 AM UTC
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Source : Tico Times

The new National Stadium opened Saturday evening with a colorful display of binational pride and camaraderie between Costa Rica and China. Deemed “the jewel of La Sabana,” the 35,000 fans in attendance were treated to a night of rousing fireworks, cultural song and dance and a spirited 2-2 draw between the countries’ national soccer teams. The $100 million National Stadium was a gift from the government of China and was constructed by Chinese laborers during the last two years.

Costa Ricas National StadiumFestivities began around 6 p.m. with government representatives from the two countries addressing the crowd on a stage decorated with giant Costa Rican and Chinese flags waving gently behind them. Amid a mixture of jeers and applause, former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias spoke to the crowd about the significance of the inauguration and the progressive step that the relationship with China, the world’s second largest economy, means for the country. In 2007, Arias severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan to establish ties with China.

“Countries have to grow and mature,” Arias said of his government’s decision to create diplomatic relations with China. “And so, like a mother understands that her son can’t wear the same shoes that he was wearing 10 years ago, we should accept that there is clothing that we shouldn’t continue to wear. Sooner or later all countries have to wear long pants.”

Arias also said, in his allegorical oratory style that marked his four years in office from 2006-2010, that Costa Rica shouldn’t fear the change that this relationship will bring and that “some countries are slaves to their own past.” He also referred to the bilateral relationship as a “young Bonzai tree” and that it creates a “bridge over the Pacific Ocean.”

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