Ritterhude is a small town near Bremen. Many people who work in Bremen live in Ritterhude. Falun Gong practitioners lacked the opportunity to tell as many people of Ritterhude as possible about Falun Gong and the true reasons behind the persecution. There wasn’t a regular market place or anything similar where a table with information material could be placed, and where practitioners could mingle with the locals.
The annual “Hammefestival", which took place this year between September the 3rd and September the 5th, provided such an opportunity. For three days, the Ritterhude locals got together for a lantern-walk, fireworks display, music, information booths and a flea market.
The North German Falun Gong practitioners’ information booth was at the end of the mile-long walk. The banner displayed in large German and Chinese letters, “Falun Gong,” and could be seen by approaching cars and walkers from far away.
With only short notice, the organisers re-assigned the practitioners to this place. The practitioners soon realised what a great location they had been assigned, as those participating in the lantern walk on Friday evening would gather at this location to watch the fireworks. They contacted each other in a hurry and put up the information booth early on Friday afternoon. Therefore, they could hand out a lot of information material that evening to those attending. One to one discussions with the locals were made possible on Saturday, as the festival attendees had time for leisurely walks past the booth.
Children and young people were really interested in the exercises, which were shown continuously. At times there were between six and seven children concentrating on learning the exercises, while friends and siblings watched attentively. Youngsters also had their first experience with the peaceful and simple movements. Some children were remarkable in learning the movements, took to them immediately and soon sat there in a peaceful demeanour. They returned the next day to practise again.
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