Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Asian nations are amazing nations that love harmony and peace, Chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) Erick Thohir said.

"Indonesia sees Asia as a continent of amazing diversity, with the highest number of tribes and ethnic groups in the world," Thohir stated at the opening of the 18th Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Stadium here on Saturday evening.

Thohir, who was accompanied by the Olympic Council of Asia`s (OCA`s) President, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, noted that the Asian nations, with their demographic diversities, have become a dynamic and competitive society.

"Talking about Asia means that we also talk about the diversity of nations. We are all here to celebrate the diversity, to celebrate our differences, to celebrate our humanity, and to channel energy from diverse nations to become a harmonious nation, namely the energy of Asia," Thohir explained.

He said Indonesia could be an example of how people can live side by side peacefully despite having different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

"Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world, which reaches 263 million people, with about 300 groups of ethnicity. The Indonesian people speak in 700 regional languages and have various religious backgrounds," the INASGOC chairman, who also serves as the chair of the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI), revealed.

The Indonesian nation can live in peace because it is tied to the same national identity, namely Bhineka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). Welcome to Indonesia, the Energy of Asia," he remarked.

Reporting by Imam Santoso

Editing by A. Abdussalam/R. Nasution

Reporter: antara
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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