One of my university lecturers is an elderly German scholar who is expert in the Chinese language and a meticulous person. He is highly regarded as a Chinese translator in Germany. As he worked for the greater part of his life in the government department of the former East Germany, he is very familiar with a Communist country’s mental control of its people and is very much against it. On one hand, he knows Falun Gong is being brutally persecuted in China, however he does not know much about Falun Gong.
I discovered all this not long after the beginning of last semester. In a Chinese-German translation class, a German student raised a question on the persecution of Falun Gong. The lecturer frowned and said, “Whenever I see a flyer on Falun Gong, I throw it in the bin.” After class, I wrote him a letter explaining why we hand out flyers. I talked about the example of three of my friends in Beijing who were persecuted, telling him that under such circumstances, being a person with a sense of justice, I cannot sit back and do nothing. I also urged him; if he does not want to read about Falun Gong, just don’t accept the flyers because we pay out of our own pockets for the printing of the flyers. We have persisted for four years and it is not easy but we hope that more people can learn the truth about Falun Gong with our limited manpower and resources. I was late for the next lesson, but when I walked in, I saw him smiling at me. His eyes were bright and his smile was radiant. Yet he was usually very serious. I smiled back at him.
He was the main examiner for the oral exam at the end of the semester. I was the last student for this exam. He raised questions about the difference between the German and Chinese language. These were questions that I had not expected. Yet he focused on my loopholes and continued to ask more questions. But quickly I calmed down and answered the questions clearly using a few ingenious examples. After the exam, the two lecturers asked me to wait outside while they discussed how many marks to award me. Normally this takes about two or three minutes, but before I had even sat down the assistant examiner, a Chinese teacher, called me in. When I walked in, the German Chinese expert smiled at me and said, “It looks like practising Falun Gong helps you to remain calm.” The Chinese teacher also gave a thumbs-up and said, “Excellent!” Of the five students examined they awarded me the highest mark.
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