Scotland: "A Beautiful and Peaceful Charm" (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) The annual Edinburgh International Arts Festival is an important event in Scotland, attracting visitors from around the world. The 2008 Annual Festival parade began on August 3rd. Falun Gong practitioners have been participating in this event for seven years.
The colorful Falun Gong contingent was very popular at the festival.
According to the organizers, participants in the festival parade come from around the world - a total of more than 80 groups including more than 3,000 people, and it was expected that 150,000 people would watch the parade.
This was the seventh year that Falun Gong practitioners in the UK have participated in this event. Several years ago, the Chinese Embassy in Edinburgh attempted to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from participating by putting pressure on the organizers of the Arts Festival. However, the festival parade organizers, as always, expressed their welcome and looked forward to Falun Gong practitioners adding another bright spot in the parade.
This year, the British Falun Gong parade contingent was composed of three major sections. A banner with "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance" lead the group, closely followed a banner reading, "Falun Dafa" and a banner in both Chinese and English reading, "Falun Dafa Is Widely Spread in over 80 Countries in the World." The banners were followed by a waist-drumming team made up of both Chinese and Western practitioners. The practitioners were in high spirits. The sound of drumming accompanied by the melodious music delighted crowds on both sides of the street.
Following the drummers was a float on which practitioners demonstrated the peaceful Falun Gong exercises. The float was decorated with clouds and lotus flowers of different colors, and in the middle was an exquisite, large, pink lotus flower in which were standing three Chinese and Western practitioners demonstrating the exercises. Many people were deeply drawn to the peaceful expression and ease of the exercises, and many took photos and videos of the Falun Gong group.
Behind the float were a dozen female practitioners dressed as maidens in imperial Tang Dynasty attire. They danced gracefully to the beautiful melody of "The Eternal Gates of Heaven Are Open," a Tang-style composition created by a Dafa disciple. Their dignified and elegant dances, together with their elegant costumes, received much applause from the spectators. At the end of the procession were two silk banners, the first worded, "The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere," the second, "Rectifies all abnormalities," as well as other Falun banners of different colors.
A Chinese spectator: "This is a great moment!"
Along the both sides of the street, many overseas Chinese said enthusiastically, "Falun Gong is great!"
Many Chinese people had not had the opportunity to experience the beauty of Falun Gong in China due to the persecution and tight censoring of facts about the practice. A woman who had just come from mainland China told the reporter: "It's amazing! The energy is so powerful!"
Another woman who had just come from Fujian Province in China told the reporter that this parade was the first time for her to see Falun Gong. When asked about her impression, she was pleased to say, "Good! Great!" A Chinese girl with her also said with a smile, "We like the Falun Gong group."
Many people said that the Falun Gong contingent was beautiful, colorful and the dancing was so elegant. A woman living in the outskirts of Edinburgh expressed her admiration for the Falun Gong parade entry and then added, "I know Falun Gong. I am told that the tragedy of removing organs from living people is taking place in China. This is too bad. I cannot tolerate such a thing happening."
After the parade, a woman from Edinburgh chatted with practitioners who were dismantling the float. She said, "The Falun Gong group was impressive and very beautiful. The exercises demonstrated by the practitioners are very good as well." She added, "I have read some information from websites exposing the fact that Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party. This is terrible. I support your aspirations and support the efforts you have made. You should have freedom in your faith and should not be persecuted."
Among the practitioners taking part in the parade, there were over ten from Ireland. The reporter interviewed Ms. Yie from Dublin. The reporter asked Ms Yie, "Why do you go through all the effort to participate in the parade?" In response, Ms Yie told a story about herself. Before practicing Falun Gong, because of a head injury, she constantly experienced dizziness and vomiting. The frequent recurrence of dizziness made her unable to work off and on, and her doctor had no effective methods of curing her. Her health became worse day by day and she was getting thinner and thinner. Ms Yie said, "At that time, I often felt very sad, thinking that I was still so young and that I had to lead a life like this."
In about 2002, Ms. Yie came across Falun Gong practitioners promoting the Fa and clarifying the truth on a street in Ireland. Soon she started to practice Falun Gong. "Through practicing Falun Gong, I have become healthy. My dizziness caused by the injury has never reoccurred," said Ms Yie. "When I am with Falun Gong practitioners, I feel that they are so kind. They are helping others without any thought of personal gain and never ask for something in return."
Irish practitioners have held several activities for rescuing their relatives who have been illegally detained by the CCP because of their refusal to give up their belief in Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. Ms Yie also learned more information about the persecution occurring in China and how cruel the persecution is. She wanted to do what she could do to help end the persecution as soon as possible.
"Just as other practitioners are doing, I am doing what I can by using my own savings, printing materials, buying tickets, paying for my accommodation and participating in activities to clarify the truth," said Ms. Yie. "There are many tourists coming for the Edinburgh International Arts Festival. I hope to take this opportunity to demonstrate the beauty of Falun Gong and to call for an end to the persecution happening in China. That is why I have come and participated in the parade. I hope more people can come to know the goodness of Falun Gong, the truth of the persecution happening in China and the nature of the CCP. Those who choose justice will have a better future."