(Clearwisdom.net) The three-week-long 2011 Edinburgh International Festival began on August 12, 2011. Asia Meets Europe is the theme of this year's festival, which focuses on introducing and displaying the vibrant and diverse cultures of Asia. Beginning August 13, UK Falun Gong practitioners have held truth clarification activities on Edinburgh's world-famous Prince Street.

Practitioners wearing yellow T-shirts with the words “Falun Dafa Is Good” in both Chinese and English and in golden exercise suits are appearing on the busy streets, standing out at the Edinburgh International Festival. People from different countries and with different cultural backgrounds are being offered an opportunity to learn about Falun Gong.

Practitioners perform the Falun Gong exercises at the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival

Practitioners perform the exercises at the Edinburgh Festival

Practitioners spread the facts about Falun Gong at the festival

Practitioners spread the facts about Falun Gong at the festival

Practitioners perform “Falun Dafa Is Good”

On August 13 and 14, practitioners set up a tent and placed many display boards around the tent and on the ground, showing how Falun Gong has been embraced around the world and exposing the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China. Over the course of eight hours, they repeatedly did the five exercises. In addition, a small practitioner band played several pieces, including “Falun Dafa Is Good.”

The gentle exercises, peaceful music, and information displays attracted the attention of tourists passing by. They took flyers, and many stopped to examine the display boards and learn more about Falun Gong from practitioners. Many signed the petition to support practitioners' efforts to resist the persecution after they had learned the truth about what is happening.

People sign a petition to support practitioners' efforts to oppose the persecution

A mother and daughter learn to do the fifth exercise after watching the exercise demonstration

People from around the world converge in Edinburgh to attend this international festival. Many heard about Falun Gong for the first time. Others had heard about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, but it was the first time that they had seen Falun Gong practitioners perform the exercises.

A cheerful Scot: I also want to have 'diamond thought'

Scotsman Gari wanted to learn to practice Falun Gong

Gari, a Scotsman, watched practitioners doing the exercises for a long time and then asked a practitioner if he could come the next day to learn and join them in doing the sitting meditation.

He said, “I hope that my mind can be tranquil, but I don't know if I can do it. These Falun Gong practitioners can. I also want to return to my original source, which is very profound. I have tried hard to abandon distracting thoughts, but they always pop up. But Falun Gong practitioners' exercise demonstration and sitting meditation let me know their thoughts are pure. I call it 'diamond thought.' I also want to have 'diamond thought.'”

Hawaiians residing in Italy: Being persecuted because of their beliefs is unacceptable

Mr. Raman signs the petition to support practitioners' efforts to oppose the persecution

Mr. Raman and his wife, who are from Hawaii but live in Italy, signed the petition to oppose the persecution.

Mr. Raman said, “This practice is serene, peaceful, and wonderful. I carefully watched the exercise movements and felt its serenity, peacefulness, and energy. It can make one calm down.”

Speaking of the persecution saddened him. He said, “It's terrible. No matter who it is, being persecuted for his/her belief is unacceptable. Holding such activities can help more people learn about the benefits of Falun Gong. Many people, including myself, like doing exercises and like freedom of speech. Everyone should enjoy freedom of speech.”

An Indian lady: I really admire you

A middle-aged Indian lady stopped to observe practitioners doing the exercises. She said, “The exercises are full of energy. I also do meditation. I observed Falun Gong practitioners doing the sitting meditation and found them so tranquil. Surrounded by so much noise, they can be so steady and focused. I really admire them, because it shows that their thoughts are clean, so that they can be in tranquility.”

Regarding the persecution happening in China, she said, “All torture is wrong. Humans definitely shouldn't be persecuted for their faith. I give my best wishes to Falun Gong practitioners.”

“(Holding such activities) is certainly important. I've heard about Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted on other occasions several years ago. Today I see it in person. With the information on the flyer I just read, I realize the importance of spreading the truth by word of mouth. Just as I said, people shouldn't be persecuted for their faith, especially their peaceful belief.”

Young Polish lady: All this is beyond my imagination

Kasia from Poland poses for a photo taken in front of the Falun Gong displays

Kasia is in her 20s and studies in Edinburgh. She saw the banners and walked across the street to look more closely. She carefully viewed every display board and then signed the petition to oppose the persecution.

She said, “I think this is shocking. I can't understand why we have never heard of it before. [The persecution] is bad. I'm glad I now understand, but I'm still shocked. I really don't know how to express myself over this. All this is beyond what I can think of, I really can't understand why such things have happened, it's totally unacceptable. I'll appeal to stop the persecution.”

Overseas Chinese students: Completely different from what we have been told in China

Falun Gong practitioners are pleased to see that many Chinese people, especially young overseas Chinese students, regard the facts about Falun Gong with an open mind. Some of them stopped to watch, some took flyers, and some took photos of the practitioners' exercise demonstration and truth clarification displays. Some spoke with practitioners and learned that the CCP has persecuted Chinese people with violence and lies. They announced their withdrawals from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations on the spot. By the end of the first day, more than 70 Chinese people had announced their withdrawals.

A young lady who came abroad to study two months ago stopped to watch when she saw that it was a Falun Gong activity. She walked up to a practitioner and spoke with her. She said that everything she saw today was completely different from what she had been led to believe in China. She was glad she had come by and announced her withdrawals from the Youth League and the Young Pioneers.