(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its brutal suppression of Falun Gong 19 years ago. Over the course of these 19 years, many in Taiwan have embraced the practice as a way of improving mind, body and spirit, and of connecting with the goodness and profundity of traditional Chinese culture.

A July 14 march in Taipei, attended by over 2,000 practitioners, showcased the popularity of Falun Gong in Taiwan and presented an opportunity for mainland Chinese tourists to rethink what they've heard about Falun Gong through the CCP's slanderous propaganda.

Over 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners from northern Taiwan held a march on July 14 to raise awareness of the persecution in mainland China. The march route extended over 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) and passed through the main educational and business areas of Taipei.

A group of tourists from Jilin Province, China watched the practitioners as they gathered to prepare for the march. Their tour guide hurried the group along and asked them not to take any materials about Falun Gong. However, some tourists took pictures of the Falun Gong banners with such messages as “Disintegrate the CCP, end the persecution.”

Chinese Tourists Excited about “A Rare Scene”

Mr. Hu from Beijing was traveling on his own. This was the third day of his 10-day journey. He followed the march and took videos and pictures. He said that he wanted to record such a “rare scene.” Falun Gong had piqued his curiosity, as he saw practitioners at tourist sites every day and now encountered such a large group of practitioners.

He said he had seen union strikes in Paris and ensuing conflicts during those events. However, he noted that the Falun Gong march was peaceful and disciplined. He also remarked that the Falun Gong group included practitioners of all ages. He noticed a big difference between actually seeing Falun Gong in Taiwan versus what he'd heard in the environment of persecution on the mainland.

Mr. Hu said that he respected Falun Gong as a form of belief and individual freedom, even though Falun Gong is banned on the mainland. He hopes to share his recordings with friends in China.

“I Didn't Expect that So Many Were Practicing Falun Gong!”

“I have seen Falun Gong practitioners at tourist sites in Taiwan and other countries. But I didn't expect that so many were practicing Falun Gong!” said Mr. Song from Beijing. He was traveling with his friend Mr. Luo, from Guangdong Province.

“Very exciting! So many people. We cannot see this in mainland China,” exclaimed Mr. Luo. He said that it was difficult for him in China to know about the popularity of Falun Gong overseas, due to the propaganda and Internet control on the mainland. “But this is not an issue in Taiwan. Wow, the march is really grand. It's indeed a rare scene!”

Mr. Song added, “We often go to Hong Kong, but have never come across Falun Gong marches there. We are lucky today to catch one in Taiwan!”

Ms. Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner who spends a lot of time talking to Chinese tourists at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial, told a reporter, “Many Chinese tourists, especially those who don't follow tour guides, make an effort to read the Falun Gong exhibit boards at tourist sites and take pictures of these boards.”

Some tour guides who are supportive of Falun Gong tell their tour groups to gather at the Falun Gong posters. Others advise their charges to seek help from Falun Gong practitioners if they get lost, because practitioners are kind and will for sure help them out.

Many local spectators expressed support by shouting, “Way to go Falun Gong!” as the procession went by.