Germany: Practitioners Take Part in Grand Festival Parade in Frankfurt (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) The sound of music from a Frankfurt street attracted the attention of people in a roadside café. Many of them stood up and applauded. Upon standing up, not only did they see the band, they also saw people wearing beautiful traditional Chinese clothes on a slow-moving vehicle covered with flowers, demonstrating a gentle and peaceful exercise. "Celestial maidens" performing graceful traditional Chinese dances followed the vehicle. At the end of the parade were display boards with the words, "Chinese Communist Regime Forced Labor Camp," showing the brutal torture methods used in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Lotus flowers, fans and celestial maidens create a shining scene
People enjoy the Falun Gong entry
Passers-by read materials about Falun Gong
Practitioners reenact the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China
The Divine Land Marching Band of Europe makes splendid music
Practitioners demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises on the float
Audience applauds the Falun Gong team
On June 21, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners took part in the Multicultural Festival in Frankfurt. Their attendance not only helped the more than one hundred thousand spectators attending the festival to appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese culture, but people also learned of the ongoing brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime in contemporary China. As the banners stated, "Torture and Killing Cast a Shadow on the Rich Chinese Culture."
When the Divine Land Marching Band passed by, some people applauded and danced along with the music, some listened attentively while others read the leaflets that were distributed about the Divine Land Marching Band and Falun Gong. Many people photographed the band and the celestial maidens. When the last part of the formation, a reenactment of a Chinese forced labor camp, appeared, people were puzzled as to why such tragic scenes would appear in the parade. However, after listening to the practitioners' explanation or reading the leaflets, they all expressed their support for Falun Gong.
A man and his son came to see the parade for the first time. "This marching band is very large; I have never seen such a large marching band. It is unbelievable. The band members are very international. It looks like a very beautiful picture, a harmonious performance by people from the East and West," he said. After reading a leaflet about Falun Gong, he stated, "I think persecuting Falun Gong is a sad chapter [in Chinese history]. I think it is very good that Falun Gong practitioners take this opportunity to show people the persecution."
Two other spectators, Arim and his wife Gabi commented, "The performance by the marching band is very pleasant to hear. It is quite novel and good. We like this music." They said that they had learned from newspaper reports that Falun Gong is being brutally persecuted in China, and that deaths have even occurred. In light of the current situation in China, they feel that China should not hold the Olympics at all. "It is very good that Falun Gong can attend this parade. There are no human rights at all in China. As long as human rights are not respected there, we would not go to China."
Ms. Beatlang and her companions enjoyed the Falun Gong contingent in the parade very much: "I heard about the persecution of Falun Gong in China before. Wherever it is, it is wrong to persecute people. Everyone should be able to live freely."
A Philippine woman said she had heard of Falun Gong before, and added, "The parade is very attractive. I liked everything about it. The colors are very rich and wonderful." Her friend from Portugal said that he thought that it was very good to let the world know what's happening in China. He also expressed a desire to learn more about Chinese culture.
Some people had seen the Falun Gong parade group last year. Many commented that each year, the practitioners put on a more magnificent parade entry. There were also many Chinese onlookers. After hearing from practitioners about the Chinese Communist regime's brutal persecution of Falun Gong and about the 39 million withdrawals from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations, some of them also expressed their desire to withdraw from these organizations.
The members of the Divine Land Marching Band are from different regions of Europe. Some drove to Frankfurt from Belgium and Holland with their families. Some of them are from Ireland, Spain, Finland and Sweden. The youngest are only in their teens, while some are almost seventy. Some members brought their young children to the performance.
Ms. Wang from Germany brought her four-year-old daughter with her to the parade. When she performed in the parade, other Falun Gong practitioners looked after her daughter. Ms. Wang said, "To me, this kind of performance can demonstrate the beauty of Falun Gong, and such an opportunity is very precious. Thus I bring my child with me every time. My daughter also very much likes to attend these kinds of activities with me."
Twelve-year-old Yu Xia is from Sweden. She uses her summer vacation to take part in the performances of the Divine Land Marching band with her father. She came to Germany to let more people know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, so she didn't feel tired during the long parade.
Ms. Manu, who works for a Swiss Insurance Company, had played trumpet in an orchestra for fifteen years. The establishment of the Divine Land Marching Band gave her an opportunity to play trumpet again. She felt that it is very important to join the Frankfurt performance: "Many people love music. I hope that people can learn about Falun Gong through music. I hope through this parade that many more people will learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China and help to stop this persecution."
Ms. Gudrun Ranftl, one of the organizers of the Frankfurt Festival said, "This time the Chinese Consulate in Frankfurt only phoned to ask if Falun Gong was going to join the parade. Last year they wrote a letter saying bad things about Falun Gong and wanted us to cancel Falun Gong's participation. Germany is a free democratic society; we don't have the right to cancel anyone's participation in the parade at all."
She added, "Falun Gong participates in the parade every year. If they want to take part in the parade next year, there will also be no problem."