St. Louis Falun Gong Practitioners Participate in the World's Fair Centennial Celebration (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) The World's Fair Centennial Celebration was held from April 30 to May 2, 2004 in Forest Park in St. Louis--the site of the 1904 World's Fair. This celebration was sponsored by the International Folklore Federation, and 180 cultural groups representing 54 countries participated. Falun Gong practitioners took part in this celebration as one of the representatives of Chinese Culture.
People stop in front of Falun Gong practitioners' booth
Many people ask practitioners to teach them to do the exercises on the spot
While practitioners demonstrate the exercises, the audience members follow along
Practitioners are invited to demonstrate the exercises on the stage
Falun Dafa enters people's hearts
Two days before the start of the celebration, it rained steadily, but it cleared up on the third day and a lot of visitors came out. Among the booths of various styles from different nationalities and cultures, the Falun Gong practitioners' booth was especially eye-catching.
People passing by stopped in front of our booth, watched the practitioners demonstrating the exercises, and asked to know the characteristics of Falun Gong. Some people started to learn the exercises from the practitioners on the spot.
One lady followed the practitioners to do the third set of the exercises--Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes. While doing it, she told her husband, "I can feel the energy."
A gentleman asked for many related materials. He had learned about the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China and felt it inconceivable that such a peaceful practice was being persecuted. Practitioners talked to him about the flourishing of Falun Gong in China before the persecution, and how as many as 100 million people benefited and improved both physically and mentally. However, Jiang, out of his jealousy and selfishness, disregarding the will of the people and other government officials, launched a bloody persecution of innocent people who believe in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." So far more than 900 practitioners have died as a result of the persecution. While listening to the practitioners, the man nodded and expressed his appreciation for the practitioners' peaceful endeavors against the persecution.
A lady asked where she could learn to practice the exercises, and she also especially hoped to have a CD of Falun Gong music. "Your music is extremely peaceful. I hope I can hear it often." The practitioners presented her with a music CD, after which she expressed thanks several times.
A visiting Chinese scholar who had just arrived in the US for several months said emotionally after watching the practitioners' booth, "It is severely persecuted in China, no one is allowed to practice at all. Whoever dares to practice, their family members will also be persecuted. Many people have sympathy but dare not speak out." The practitioners talked with him for quite a long time about cultivation being the essence of the Chinese culture, about Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful resistance to the persecution, and about Falun Gong entering people's hearts overseas.
A Chinese businessman passed our booth and asked, "Is there any material in Chinese?" So the practitioners gave him a brochure and a VCD in Chinese. This man has a friend who practices Falun Gong. His friend had introduced Falun Gong to him a long time ago, but he wanted to learn more. He said before leaving, "I may also begin to practice."
In addition to booths, there was also a big stage for performing programs representing different cultures of different nationalities. Performances from Poland, Ireland, Japan, Russia and Thailand that have different characteristics of different nationalities, won applause from the audience. Falun Gong practitioners were invited to demonstrate the exercises on the stage. While the music began, practitioners performed the exercises, and one practitioner said, "We are Falun Gong practitioners from St. Louis, and we are here to display Falun Gong --a cultivation method that can bring inner peace." The audience was obviously very interested, and some followed the practitioners to do the exercises.
The essence of Chinese culture transcends the boundaries of nationalities and countries
Falun Gong practitioners participated in this activity as one of three groups that represented Chinese culture. Overseas, many countries take Falun Gong as the representative of traditional Chinese culture. On many occasions, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, Independence Day Parade, and many other important festivals and ceremonies, Falun Gong practitioners have been invited to participate as representatives of China's ancient culture.
Falun Gong practitioners have spent their holidays and weekends participating in activities in community and holiday parades, not only promoting the Chinese culture but also bring the wonderfulness of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" to the American people.
For example, on New Year's Day, 2004, as the only Chinese group, Falun Gong practitioners were invited to participate and won an award in the annual Mummers Parade, which was the most traditional and ceremonious way to celebrate the New Year together with the people of Philadelphia. On the morning of December 7, 2003, Falun Gong practitioners participated in the 22nd Thanksgiving Day Parade sponsored by NBC in San Jose, San Francisco, and displayed the magnificence of Falun Dafa to local people. NBC's Channel 11 broadcasted the parade live to millions of viewers. In November 2003, on another Thanksgiving Day in Chicago, Falun Gong practitioners, as the first Chinese group, participated in the State Street Thanksgiving Parade. The annual Thanksgiving Parade is the largest ceremony of the year. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to watch and more than a million viewers watched the broadcast live on TV.
Before the activity concluded, a journalist from the World Daily interviewed the practitioners. When being asked why they were taking part in this activity, one practitioner expressed, "The best aspect of the Chinese culture, and the most essential part is expressed in the three words 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.' Falun Gong transcends the boundaries of nationalities, cultures and countries, and brings goodness to people around the world. Through this display, we hope to bring the wonderfulness of Falun Gong to all people so that everyone can benefit from it. "