On January 25, Falun Gong practitioners in Washington, D.C. participated on invitation in the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Washington's Chinatown. Even the coldest temperatures of the winter did not dampen the spirit of parade viewers who lined the streets.
|The Falun Dafa Float||Banners Saying "Falun Dafa" and "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance"|
|Crowds of Parade Viewers||Falun Gong Exercise Demonstration|
Center>Magnificent Dragon Dance Performed by Practitioners
Falun Gong practitioners' dragon dance was the best received group in the parade. Two dragons comprised of forty Chinese and western Falun Gong practitioners, vigorously flew up and down, winning waves of applauses. At the end of the parade, the dragon dance team was invited to give an encore performance in front of the stage, where the Mayor, local congressmen, the first Asian American congressman, and other dignitaries and Asian community leaders were seated.
Professor Sen Nieh of the Catholic University of America said, "We have participated in the annual parade for the past few years, but there were always some unjustifiable obstructions in the process of application. We worked hard to break through all kinds of obstructions, to expose lies and to clarify the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. Our applications were eventually approved but only one team was allowed in the parade. Things are very different this year. Falun Gong was invited to participate with two dragon dance teams on behalf of Overseas Chinese Community. In addition, there would be an exercise demonstration, a float and children practitioners from Minghui School. There was no obstruction at all this year. People were impressed with the peacefulness, kindness and rationality that Falun Gong practitioners had shown in the past. As more and more people learn the facts about Falun Gong, lies cannot stand any more."
The Director of the parade said, "As long as Falun Gong practitioners participated in it, I have confidence. The activities that they participate in will sure succeed."
With the song "Falun Dafa Is Great," Falun Gong practitioners in bright golden uniforms showed great enthusiasm and high spirits. They stopped once in a while to demonstrate the exercises. When the banners saying, "Falun Dafa" and "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" were in front of the stage, they were received with warm applause.
The young practitioners from the Minghui School attracted a lot of attention. People followed after them to take pictures.
Dr. Huang Zuwei, a NASA employee, was one of the dragon dancers at the parade. He said, "In the past four years, we have always had a peaceful heart wherever we were in the world. Our only request is to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. We are happy to see more and more people learn the truth about Falun Gong and the goodness of Dafa. We hope all kind people in the world will have a bright future."
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