A Western Family’s Journey to Hong Kong
(Minghui.org) I am a practitioner from Melbourne. I started practicing Falun Dafa in June 2000. Today, my sharing is about traveling to Hong Kong and the situations I came across while talking to people about Dafa and the persecution in mainland China.
I planned to go on a 3-week trip to clarify the facts about Dafa to people in Hong Kong. My wife (a non-practitioner) and two children came for the first week. My mother (also a practitioner) and I spent the rest of our time going where practitioners had set up booths to speak to people about Dafa.
The first week, we went to tourist sites, such as the cable car to the peak where there’s a lookout to see the whole city, and we spent a day at Disneyland and Ocean Park.
My mother and I wore bright yellow Falun Dafa t-shirts almost everywhere we went. I knew that in some instances, the CCP has used gangs and others to harass practitioners throughout Hong Kong, especially when they were wearing Dafa t-shirts. We were careful and aware of our surroundings wherever we went. If we needed to go out at night or were separated for some reason, we wore plain clothes.
I spent the months leading up to this trip reflecting on how to talk to the people we would come across. I wasn’t very clear about the current situation in Hong Kong, so I wanted to be prepared for possible confrontations with visitors from mainland China who might hold misconceptions about us due to the Communist Party’s propaganda.
Clarifying the Truth at “Quit the CCP” Booths
We chose this time to travel mainly for the April 25th parade. It was also during the long Easter weekend, so there were many tourists from mainland China. The main street in a tourist shopping area was lined with vendor booths and closed to traffic. We found a “Quit the CCP” booth where hundreds of people walked by every minute.
After handing out fliers for a while, we began to do the exercises. Once I started, I realized this caused quite a stir with the passersby. Nearly everyone in the street nearby was watching me. This 20-meter-wide street was completely full of people–most of them staring at me. Other pedestrians slowed down to see what was going on. At first, I was shocked by all the attention, though I felt very grounded in the Fa.
I came to realize that this moment was very precious. As I dissolved into the Fa, I strongly felt that Master was supporting me. I felt my energy expanding and landing on everyone around me. I was amazed by the whole sequence of events.
Every time I opened my eyes, there were dozens of people taking pictures and videos. I didn’t realize my being a Western practitioner was such big deal to the public here.
I could see that many of the spectators had been poisoned by the CCP’s propaganda. Catching glimpses of their reactions, it was easy to see which CCP lie had taken root in their minds. All I could do was to be a good example of a Dafa student.
Going to Tourist Areas
Disneyland and Ocean Park were full of tourists from mainland China. As we walked from ride to ride, I noticed a family talking about us. None of them could work out what was going on. The grandmother, the son, and the daughter-in-law all talked at great length. None of them could agree, because they each had different ideas about Dafa based on the propaganda they remembered.
When they saw that we were three generations of a Western family all having a good time at a theme park and wearing Dafa t-shirts, it was as if it upended all of the lies in their minds. They couldn’t come to terms with the situation. Their heated discussion went on for at least five minutes. We walked past them many times during the day. About all I could do was to show them kindness and the type of people we are.
On Good Friday, we were in Kowloon Park doing the exercises–just the two of us. It was very busy with families and tourists. My mother finished the standing exercises and went to help with the kids. A young police officer stopped for a second, looked at me, and went on. A middle-aged Chinese couple sat opposite us and watched us the entire time–for an hour or so. When the officer came, they quickly disappeared. We realized they'd called the police, but the shock they got when they realized the officer wasn't going to arrest us was quite amusing. They couldn't understand why the police officer didn't stop us. Maybe they weren’t aware that Falun Dafa is practiced freely everywhere except for mainland China.
As we traveled around in the local area where we were staying, I noticed how much people’s opinions about us and Dafa seemed to change. They came to know us a little bit. It was as if some of their rough edges were being filed off each time they saw us. We could see they were thinking more kindly about Dafa. By the end of our trip, they'd begun to greet us like friends.
April 25th Parade
This was the second time I'd been to Hong Kong, as I had come for demonstrations during a visit by the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief Jiang Zemin in 2001. However, this was the first time I'd participated in a parade there.
We began the day by doing the exercises near the water on the island. CCP supporters set up opposite us. In addition to spreading lies, they yelled disrespectful things for hours. All the images on their signs were altered to have fangs and horns on them, yet they claim that Dafa practitioners are the ones disturbing the peace in Hong Kong.
After finishing the exercises, we got on a bus and went to where the parade started. During the four hours it would take to walk from one side of the island to the other, people stopped to see what was going on in the street. The Falun Dafa group's Tian Guo Marching Band and waist drummers were quite a sight to see.
There were roughly 20 pro-CCP stalls set up along the way. They were all chanting bad things and yelling over loudspeakers. I didn’t find this difficult to tolerate because I didn’t understand most of what they were saying. Every time, I would just smile at each of them, and I occasionally gave them a “thumbs up.” As one of the chants they yelled included a “thumbs down” gesture, I thought I would counteract them in this form.
The looks I got from those in the stalls were all so different. Some were completely in shock; some yelled obscene things; some, I could tell, just didn't want to be doing what they were doing.
There were people along the route who were clearly CCP supporters, and some chose to make quite a scene.
The police around us were very good and did a great job.
Two elderly men were screaming at the top of their lungs. They said things like, "Go back home to your country." I gave them a “thumbs up” and smiled.
They escalated their abuse.
One of the men started to walk toward me with his arms flailing, as if he was going to attack me. I was shocked but remained calm.
The moment he stepped into the street, just as his foot landed, he got this sharp, stunned look on his face, as though he had been Tasered or something. He froze and stumbled a few steps back with a dazed look. Seconds later, however, he shook it off and continued ranting, although with a little less enthusiasm.
The energy from Dafa was truly powerful. It was amazing to bear witness to these events. A number of such things happened along the way.
I was holding a banner following behind the waist drummers, who were playing Dafa songs the whole way. This helped me so much to keep my mind clear, on the Fa, and focused on sending righteous thoughts. The four-hour parade was arduous, and it took all my energy just to make it to the end.
Interestingly, my mother and I were the only two Westerners in the entire parade, and the bystanders noticed us. Their eyes would light up, they would try to get the attention of their friends, and then they would try to get a photo. Some looked quite miserable until they saw us two Westerners. Instantly, their jaws would drop in surprise, and then their faces would light up.
The Challenges That Followed
Some days were physically overwhelming. The exhaustion was difficult to endure. As all our time was spent doing Dafa things for the latter part of the trip, I could feel my connection to the Fa had become stronger and my celestial eye was becoming more sensitive while in this field. The entire time throughout this trip, I could feel Master’s support, encouragement, and protection. Being able to do the exercises and study the Fa constantly made all of these things possible to endure.
One day, we weren’t sure if we could gather the energy to leave the hotel, let alone face the world and endure what might follow. Later, as we walked to the train station, we had not decided where we were going for the day. We stopped in the middle of the large open area of the subway station. Still undecided, my mother and I shared for a while about how we were doing and helped each other out so as to find the courage just to continue. Then, all of a sudden, we realized that we didn’t need to go anywhere. We quite literally could stand there all day and make a huge difference with clarifying the truth, as all the passersby were already staring at our Dafa shirts.
We shared our understandings for some time, breaking through all the things holding us back. As we exposed them, we felt lighter and lighter. Creating a righteous field took a bit of work, but our connection was re-established, and we then felt that we could make our way to the next destination.
When I got home, over the following weeks, I had a unique sensation. I kept seeing all these different faces and people walking towards me in my mind. After the first few times this occurred, I realized that these were the people I'd come across in the streets in Hong Kong that I'd had an effect on. I felt this was "the fork in the road" in their path where they had another chance to change their thinking. It was as if their choice at that moment had changed their future.
I felt so privileged to be able to help Master and sentient beings.
I feel that practitioners, especially Westerners, need to pay a lot more attention to Hong Kong. Only two Western practitioners at a major international event was not enough. The difference even one person can make is just astounding.
These are just a few of my experiences. We encountered many different situations like these every single day while traveling from place to place.
These activities were very valuable for my cultivation. In the past, I had fewer responsibilities and could travel a couple of times a year, whether it be to attend a Fa conference or to join in truth-clarification activities like going to Hong Kong, which always helped me a great deal and got me out of the deepest ruts in my cultivation.
Category: Clarifying the Truth