Finnish Musician Anna Kokkonen Talks About Her Song "The Golden Land"
(Minghui.org) Anna Kokkonen, a Finnish singer and songwriter, released her debut album “Secret Garden” in 2014. “Steps of Summer,” a song from her second album, became a top hit in Finland last summer.
Another of her songs, "Golden Land,” has a more somber topic - a human rights activist angle - dealing with the persecution of Falun Gong, the peaceful practice that has brought Anna herself much joy.
“Golden Land” arose from her wish “to write a song that encourages more people to light a candle in support of justice and to end the persecution in China.”
Song: GOLDEN LAND
A lady is being dressed in the mourning clothes of the prisonAn innocent one is being locked inside an inclined cageIn the darkness she still remembers who she isAnd she won’t give up on it
With a tear falling, she still tells the truthThe price of a thought is red as bloodYou cannot suffocate the heart, she whispers with a smile
Light up a flame in a new candleThey spread from heart to heartThe lights shine behind the barsMelting the ice on the facesThe golden land
Behind the wall there’s a young father in chainsHis face is thin, his skin is white as snowSilently he waits, since he knows that today his fears will be measured
Choosing between life and deathHe raises his head, as the pain won’t make him discouragedDeep under the surface the heart is beating stronger than ever
Light up a flame in a new candleThey spread from heart to heartThe lights shine behind the barsMelting the ice on the faces
The golden wings touch the landWe weave the candle wicks togetherTonight the dawn will riseThe trail of tears will disappear
The golden landThe golden land
Courage to Speak up for Those Persecuted
Surprisingly, Anna's music has also spread in China. To a Chinese listener, it is not only amazing to hear her voice, but also shocking to learn that she practices Falun Dafa. This cultivation practice gives her music an otherworldly timbre.
Her song, “The Golden Land,” is about Falun Dafa, the traditional Chinese meditation practice, whose followers are persecuted in China. Why does she bring up this topic, which is forbidden in China? What gives her the courage to shine the spotlight on this particular persecuted group? With these questions in mind, I interviewed Anna Kokkonen.
Finnish Musician: Anna Kokkonen
Anna, 33, based in Helsinki, is a music teacher and singer-songwriter. She writes and produces most of her music and has formed a band. They perform regularly in live concerts. Anna studied music in college.
Contrary to her glamorous appearance on stage, she is serene and even a little shy off stage.
Stepping on the Cultivation Path
“I started practicing Falun Dafa in 2006,” she said.
She continued, “My then boyfriend, now my husband, always tried to persuade me to do Yoga or other similar exercises with him. But I never was intrigued by it.”
She continued to tell me that one time when she was busy, she asked her boyfriend to leave her alone for a while. While she focused on her work, he went for a walk in the woods, where he saw a lady doing some kind of exercise. He became interested, so he watched, and after the lady was done with her exercise, she told him that she cultivated in Falun Dafa.
Anna said, “As my boyfriend told me about it, my first reaction was, 'My goodness! That is exactly what I want.'”
Remembering the past, she continued, “I worried about everything. Since I started practicing Dafa, I have better control over my feelings and can attain inner peace. It gives me such great comfort, and my body feels light, and as if it was floating.”
I then asked her about her understanding and acceptance of Falun Dafa, a Chinese cultivation practice, given the cultural differences.
“I don't see any conflict between western and eastern cultures,” she said. “Regardless of the culture, everyone has kindness in their hearts. The principles of Falun Dafa transcend the boundaries of cultures and nations.”
Gift from Heaven
After she began to practice Falun Dafa, Anna changed, and it's easy to feel her positive, contagious energy.
“My mother told me that my practicing Dafa is truly a gift from heaven,” she told me. “I used to be depressed and quite uneasy. Now when I appear to be irritable, my mother tells me 'You got to do some Dafa exercises.'”
Anna also wants her family, friends, and students to benefit from practicing Falun Dafa. She spreads the Dafa principles through her demeanor and her music.
She explained, “When you demonstrate something good, people will naturally feel the connection to it. Everyone has a longing for the universal principles. Some may have forgotten it. Everyone makes their own choices, to practice or not to practice Dafa.”
Respect for Everyone's Choice
She has learned to respect everyone's choice, but she feels a strong sense of responsibility. As she sees kind people being persecuted brutally in China for their peaceful practice of Dafa, she is deeply saddened. A voice in her heart urges her to get involved and do something.
Her inspiration for writing the song “The Golden Land” came from her wish “to write a song that encourages more people to light a candle in support of justice and to end the persecution in China. When all people across the world have lit their candle, the whole world will be covered in a golden light.”
As she has been very successful in calling for justice and kindness with her music, she attributes her success to Dafa.
“All of the members in my band are gifted musicians,” she said. “I feel we must cherish our talent by making the best use of it and providing people with the most critical message.”
As her new album was released in early 2016, I extended congratulations from her Chinese fans.
Her response was, “Falun Dafa is good. Its practitioners are kind people. I hope all Chinese people can obtain truthful information.”