Taiwan: Celebrating Falun Dafa with Large-scale Group Character Formation
(Minghui.org) The annual Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference will take place on November 26, 2017, at the National Taiwan University Sports Center. The day before the event, a large-scale group exercise practice and living character formation will be held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Falun Dafa's introduction to Taiwan.
Mr. Li Hongzhi the founder of Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong), introduced the practice to the public in China in May 1992. The practice consists of five sets of exercises and is guided by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Five years later, in November 1997, Master Li traveled to Taiwan to give two lectures, in Taipei and Taichung. Soon after, Falun Dafa was quickly embraced by the people of Taiwan.
Master Li Hongzhi Lectures in Taiwan
According to practitioners who attended the lectures in November 1999, many had already heard about the practice from friends or relatives. “The majority of those who attended began to practice Falun Dafa immediately after the lectures,” recalled a practitioner. “We learned a lot, not only from Master Li's teachings, but also from his actions.” There was a very limited number of practitioners in Taiwan prior to the lectures, but the number increased dramatically afterward.
Currently, there are over 1,000 group exercise sites in more than 300 towns in Taiwan. Some are located on the outer islands such as Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. Taiwanese practitioners come from all walks of life and include professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers, government officers, police, business people, farmers, teachers, and students.
During the historic 1997 trip, Master Li also briefly visited Taipei, Yilan, Sun Moon Lake, Eastern Taiwan, and Southern Taiwan. He did not allow practitioners to pay for any of his expenses and maintained a low profile. “From Master Li I learned how to be considerate of others,” noted one practitioner.
Living Character Formations in China and Taiwan
The tradition of living character formation by Falun Dafa practitioners began in mainland China before the persecution started in 1999. In these historic gatherings, thousands of practitioners assembled to form images or calligraphy (Chinese characters) related to Dafa. The beautiful formations are preserved as stunning photographs.
With the largest number of Dafa practitioners outside China, it wasn't long before Taiwan too began to hold large-scale living character formation activities. These activities have become a dynamic method to introduce Falun Dafa to more people and they are also a way in which practitioners express their gratitude towards Master Li.
Living character formation activities began in Taiwan in 2000. Following the layout for a previous activity in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, Taiwanese practitioners formed the characters for “Falun Dafa” and “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” In the earlier years, the strokes of the characters were straight, but later they were changed to Li Shu (official script).
In stark contrast to the freedom enjoyed by Falun Dafa practitioners in Taiwan, the severe suppression in mainland China has led to the deaths of at least 4,000 practitioners. Countless more have been arrested, detained and tortured, while another untold number have become victims of the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting.
The large-scale living character formation has proven to be an effective way to raise awareness of the severe human rights violations in China.
Below are photographs of a number of different character formation activities held over the years in Taiwan.
Character formation during the flag-raising ceremony at the Presidential Office Building during the 2002 New Year. The words read, “Fa rectifies the human world.”