Several improvements have been made in our Falun Dafa parade efforts. After we added the Tang-dynasty costume dances and the waist drumming team, we became more noticeable in the parades we participated in. We also received more opportunities to participate in various parades.
However, because of the variety of content in our parade entries, the audience and media frequently could not distinguish whether Falun Gong was a dance, drum team or Chinese qigong [exercises for cultivation 'qi' or 'vital energy']. Often, the media published pictures of the Falun Gong entry on the front page of the next day's newspaper with pictures of our female practitioners wearing Tang-dynasty costumes. However, the caption underneath too often stated something like: "A group of women performing Falun Gong." Even some friends of practitioners asked: "Is Falun Gong a traditional Chinese dance?"
I believe the following suggestions will help the audience and the media to understand our parade entries better, so that they will both validate Dafa and clarify the truth.
The improved organisation and presentation of the New York parade entry this year is a very good example. The practitioners held a large banner showing the theme ahead of each part of the parade entry. As a result, both the audience and the media could understand the theme as each part went past them. Previously, they felt bewildered: "Why does the banner in the front say: "Falun Dafa is good?" Toward the end of the entry, why are they showing practitioners being beaten, while many practitioners are happily dancing? And after that, there are still people performing Tai Chi or martial arts.
This is an important consideration. Only when people understand our message can we say that our parade entry achieves its goal. Otherwise, when the parade is finished, people will only understand Falun Gong from what stood out in their mind. This may mislead the audience. If we have more than one theme, such as suing Jiang and showing the torture and persecution along with more positive themes or activities, it seems essential to have a large banner to explain the theme in front of each part of the parade.
Recently, some practitioners organised a long-distance car tour to expose the persecution and clarify the truth. However, the vehicle did not have a clear theme, because it stressed the idea of "peace." Even though the intention was good, as practitioners we should also pay attention to the desired result. What is the most important message? We should not be the only ones clear about the message. It is also important that we should send a clear message to the media as to what the intention and name of the car tour is and consider whether the theme of the main banner will possibly mislead them.
My personal understanding is this: consider the public's level of comprehension and adapt it to the principles of cultivation. For example, "petals of compassion" is more appropriate than "petals of peace." It more accurately expresses the theme of Falun Dafa practitioners' truth-clarification efforts.
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