November 18, 2003

Shoppers in Middlesbrough have been introduced to an ancient spiritual practice.

A small crowd of people arrived at Captain Cook Square to demonstrate Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. Described by [practitioners] as a spiritual movement, Falun Gong works to reform the body and mind, improving the moral and spiritual well being of people who repeat the five movements.

Computer programmer Lei Song, 28, from Middlesbrough, was among the team of people who appeared at the shopping centre.

He said: "[...] in China you used to see people practising in the park in the morning.

"It improves the body and soul and it is easy to learn and follow."

The movement first emerged in China in 1992 under the teaching of Li Hongzhi, but was banned by the government in 1999.

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