Washington DC: Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Welcomes Minghui School Students (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On the morning of April 3, the 92nd Cherry Blossom Festival Parade started down Constitution Ave in Washington DC, the capital of the United States. Over one hundred Falun Gong practitioners from DC and nearby areas participated in the parade for the sixth time. Among them, a group of Minghui School students, teachers and parents walked in front of the Falun Dafa procession. The children's innocent and lovely smiles made a deep impression on the audience.
An April 7th World Journal report about the 92nd Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington DC stated that though it was still cold in early spring, the cherry flowers were in blossom along Constitution Ave. For the parade, Cherry Flower Queen, floats and bands were people's focus but the dragon and lion dances gave it a more oriental feeling.
The DC area Falun Gong practitioners joined with Minghui School to introduce Chinese traditional culture, costumes and performances. The big golden dragon was unique and very eye-catching in the procession.
Falun Gong well accepted in the community
Minghui.Net also had a report on April 4, 2004. On the morning of April 3, more than 100 Falun Gong practitioners from Washington DC and nearby areas participated in the Cherry Blossom Parade on Constitution Avenue for the sixth time.
In front of the parade, practitioners held banners that read in English and Chinese, "Falun Dafa" and "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Two lions followed them jumping and dancing, accompanied by the joyful sound of gongs and drums.
After the lions, more than a dozen female practitioners dressed in bright costumes gracefully performed the ribbon dance that symbolized heavenly girls bringing happiness to people. Next was a large float on which about 20 female practitioners dressed in Tang Dynasty costumes, performed the elegant dance, "Magnificent Splendor of the Tang Dynasty." Several dozen practitioners dressed in golden exercise uniforms followed the float. They displayed the slow, smooth and peaceful Falun Gong exercises to the spectators. After them, 18 practitioners performed the dragon dance which was impressive. A number of Korean practitioners dressed in their colorful ethnic costumes followed. A flag team was at the end. They held vertical banners that read, "Falun Dafa" and "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." The host of the parade remarked that Falun Gong had a strong team.
In recent years, Falun Gong has participated in many activities in the U.S., letting this ancient practice merge into the culturally diversified society and be recognized by all segments of society. People can hardly imagine that a peaceful group that is so well accepted in over 60 countries is suffering from brutal persecution in China.
In order to prevent Falun Gong from participating in the parade, the Chinese Embassy contacted the organizer several times, repeating the same lies and propaganda spread in China. The Falun Gong practitioners also clarified the truth to the organizers. In the end, the organizers accepted Falun Gong because Falun Gong has proved itself to be a peaceful group. The parade is just a civil activity, but the Chinese Embassy tried hard to turn it into a political confrontation.
Report from EPOCH TIMES
Epoch Times reported on April 3 about Falun Gong's participation in the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. The article said that a group of Chinese children, teachers and parents appeared in front of the procession. The innocent and lovely smiles on the children's faces made a deep impression on the spectators. Many Chinese spectators said they felt proud to see Chinese children leading the American National Cherry Festival Parade.
|Minghui School teachers, students and parents||A happy student of Minghui School||Principal of Minghui School and a festival organizing committee member|
Most of the Minghui School students were born overseas, but have grown up and been educated in America. They can also speak Chinese. Minghui School is an international school system. Many countries have Minghui Schools, including Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan and Taiwan. Minghui Schoosl base the education of children on the principle of "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance". They promote Chinese traditional culture and focus on nurturing students' sense of moral and social responsibility.
Minghui School students can speak Chinese. Many of them can read Zhuan Falun in Chinese, and do the Falun Gong exercises every day. A five-year-old girl, Wang Zhen, also can read all of Zhuan Falun in Chinese.
Rocky is from a middle school in Maryland. He has practiced Falun Gong for six years. Today, he and his brother and sister joined the parade together. He said that he participated in the parade, not only to enjoy the festival with everyone, but also to let more Americans and Chinese to know about Falun Gong, and to let people see that Falun Gong practitioners are healthy, happy and peaceful.
Rocky said that some time before, a few Chinese students in the school knew he practiced Falun Gong and shunned him because they believed in the slander on China Central TV. After more contact with Falun Gong, they found the Falun Gong practitioners are not like what the Chinese government said, so they became good friends again.
The rainbow balloons was another highlight of the parade. This is the second year that Minghui School participated in the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival parade. Both years, they were the first team after the leading military Color Guards and Bands. Many local Chinese are proud of this.