Toronto, Canada: Practitioners Display Good Demeanor at the Oshawa Fiesta Multi-Cultural Festival (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On June 17, 2007, Falun Gong practitioners in Toronto, Canada participated in the annual Oshawa Fiesta held in Oshawa, Durham. Fiesta means "festival" in Spanish. The Oshawa Fiesta is a week-long multi-cultural festival of activities, providing local residents with an opportunity to experience the foods and cultures from Europe, Asia and the Caribbean without going too far away from home. This year was the 35th anniversary of the festival. The festival has a long history, and has become one of the biggest multi-cultural festivals in Canada. Falun Gong practitioners were the first time to take part in it.
Canadian Divine Land Marching Band performs in the parade
Waist drummers perform in the parade
The celebration began with a grand parade. Participants included several dozen bands of different sizes, several dozen floats and performing groups representing a variety of cultures. Marching bands dressed in military uniforms of ancient, contemporary and modern times displayed the best of their skills. With trumpets and tubas big and small playing together, the drumbeats were thunderous. The Canadian Divine Land Marching Band and waist drummers composed of Toronto Falun Gong practitioners made its debut at the Fiesta parade. The audience found everything in their performances new and refreshing, and gave them warm applause, and the local Chinese people had looks of approval.
A member of the Popular Arts Commission in Oshawa was in the audience. He said that he was glad to see Falun Gong practitioners take part in the parade. He was aware that Falun Gong has suffered severe persecution in China, and he had read many stories about Falun Gong. Whenever he read about their great deeds, he could not help crying.
After the parade, the Divine Land Marching Band played several pieces of music on the festival stage, including the Canadian anthem "O, Canada," "Falun Dafa is Good" and "Fa Drums and Fa Trumpets Shake Heaven and Earth." Waist drummers and the lion dance troupe gave exquisite performances enthralling the audience both young and old.
The Divine Land Marching Band performs on the stage
Members of the Divine Land Marching Band have a photo taken with government officials participating in the Fiesta (From right to left: Oshawa Mayor Join Gray, MP Colin Carrie, Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Ontario MPP Jerry J. Ouellette, MP Jason Kenney (Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity )
The reporter interviewed Oshawa Mayor John Gray and MP Jason Kenney.
Mayor John Gray highly praised Falun Gong practitioners' participation in the parade. He said that it was the first time that practitioners had participated in this parade. He said that Falun Gong practitioners came to Oshawa every year, and should be issued a proclamation.
MP Jason Kenney is also Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity. He said that the Oshawa Fiesta is one of the oldest multi-cultural festivals in Canada, and that it was remarkable that Falun Dafa participated. It can help build Falun Gong's status in the community. He also complimented the Divine Land Marching Band, saying that they were marvelous. He said the band is one of the most outstanding, most disciplined and the largest bands he had seen. He was very surprised to see them in the parade. He hoped that practitioners would participate in more of such activities to improve their name recognition and show that Falun Gong practitioners are also ordinary members of society. They give something back to society and make contributions to the community, and thus convey a very important message to society.
Falun Gong practitioners distributed many truth clarification materials. Rogers Cable broadcast the whole parade procession live to local residents.