(Minghui.org) The Falun Gong booth at this year's Youth Day Toronto enjoyed visits from locals and tourists interested in learning the exercises. The event took place on July 22 at Yonge-Dundas Square and included a Yonge Street closure from Dundas to Queen, transforming the road into a vibrant marketplace. A global festival, Youth Day began in Toronto in 2007 and is now celebrated in many parts of the world to showcase the talents of young people.

Falun Gong practitioners started the day with the Falun Gong exercises on the street in the rain. When the sun came out at noon, many visitors stopped and watched and took informational materials from the booth. Practitioners also demonstrated the exercises on the event's center stage later in the day.

Falun Gong practitioners took part in Youth Day Toronto 2018. This year marked the 12th year for this annual event. Many visitors stopped by the Falun Gong booth to learn more about the practice.

Visitors try out the Falun Gong exercises during Youth Day Toronto 2018.

Mr. Olma was interested to learn that Falun Gong is widely practiced in over 100 countries. He was pleasantly surprised that teachers and students in India, his home country, practiced the Falun Gong exercises in school. When he asked why Falun Gong was free, practitioners told him that they simply wanted to voluntarily pass on the benefits of the practice.

“I see. I will tell more people to practice Falun Gong,” said Mr. Olma.

Ms. Arya approached practitioners and told them that she had seen people doing the Falun Gong exercises in the park near her home. “To me, this is so special,” she said. She tried out the exercises, then left her contact information so she could be notified about the next exercise teaching class in Toronto. “I will tell my friends. This is very important. We should let more people know [about Falun Gong]. This is going to help our communities,” Ms. Arya said.

Visitors at the Falun Gong booth included tourists from around the world, including England, the Netherlands, Mexico, and China.

Jannet and her daughters learn the Falun Gong exercises.

Alex was very interested in learning more about Falun Gong.

Alex from Mississauga, a large city near Toronto, read the Falun Gong materials and asked many questions. Practitioners shared with him the positive changes they experienced after taking up the practice. Alex said that he wanted to learn Falun Gong and wrote down the location and time of the group exercises in Mississauga.

Mr. Salihe asked about the average those who practice and learned that practitioners fall into all age groups – from toddlers to octogenarians. He asked for contact information so he could follow up and learn the exercises.

Several Chinese people were also among the visitors. They took pictures of the Falun Gong booth and took informational materials in Chinese.

A Chinese man who identified himself as a lay Buddhist chatted with practitioners for a long time. He said that he knew about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. A practitioner told him about how she started Dafa cultivation and of her personal experience of the persecution in China. The man was shocked at the severity of the persecution. He said he would tell more of his friends about Falun Gong.