(Clearwisdom.net) On May 23 and 24, 2009, the annual Global Village Festival was held in Helsinki, Finland. Falun Gong practitioners participated in the festival and were given a positive reception.

Falun Dafa practitioners talk to visitors at the Helsinki Global Village Festival

The Global Village Festival is a large scale event with about 50,000 visitors from Finland and many other countries. A few hundred non-governmental organizations and art groups participated. The Prime Minister of Finland, Mr. Vanhanen, gave a speech at the event.

Falun Gong practitioners participated as the only group representing the Chinese people. The practitioners demonstrated the five exercises on the stage many times during the two-day event. Other practitioners in beautiful Han costumes distributed lotus flowers and fliers to clarify the truth. Many people stopped to talk to practitioners and signed their names on a petition to end the persecution of Falun Gong in China. For a while, the Falun Dafa booth was packed.

A young Pakistani girl came to booth and asked, "Do you have an exercise site here? How can I learn to do the exercises?" In the end, her mother found out that many high school and primary school students in India are learning Falun Gong, so she wanted to learn it, too.

A couple and their daughter were given a flier but didn't know what it was about, so a practitioner talked to them about Falun Gong and the persecution in China, as well as her own experiences in China. The family signed their names on the petition and said they wanted to learn the exercise, too.

A senior citizen said to the practitioners, "I know about Falun Gong. I can imagine what the Chinese Communist Party's persecution has done to you." When he heard about the CCP's harvesting of organs from jailed Falun Gong practitioners, he said, "We must investigate if any Fin hospitals have purchased organs from China."

Three young students seemed to have a lot of questions. When they heard the horrible facts about the persecution of practitioners in China, one was in tears. Another student said, "Why haven't you talked about that in schools? All the students and teachers would want to find out about this." Another one asked, "What can we do to help you?" The practitioner told them that they could talk to their teachers, parents, and government officials, and if everyone expressed their concerns, the persecution would not be able to continue.