During spring 2005, we contacted several libraries in Lapland and made inquiries about holding a Falun Gong photo exhibition. Several librarians were interested to hold an exhibition during the spring and summer. Most of them knew about Falun Gong already and those who didn’t were interested to hold the exhibition and find out more.
The first exhibition was held on the 2nd of May in a local government library in Inari, which is in Ivalo. In Finland, it gets very cold in the winter and cars have to be specially modified for the extreme weather. It was almost spring-time in our hometown and all the snow had almost melted so we had changed our cars from the winter system to the summer system. We packed the picture exhibits into the car and headed to Ivalo with our small caravan. We had to drive several hundred miles.
During the trip the weather changed and went cold and the scenery and landscape started to look like winter again. In the end it began to snow. Even if it still was winter in Lapland, we continued the journey with our summer system car.
When we got to the library of Inari and began hanging up the pictures I noticed an elderly lady watching us. She asked if the pictures were from China and told us about her many trips to China and Asia. I told her about Falun Gong and how the Chinese Communist Party persecutes Falun Gong practitioners. The lady already knew a lot about the human rights abuses happening in China.
When we made phone calls to the different libraries we had plans to avoid some libraries in the most Nordic part of Lapland, because they were just too far away. But deep down in our hearts we knew how important it is to let more people know about the persecution. We decided that no place should be left out. With strong determination we made plans how to use our time in the best way so that the most Nordic part of Lapland could also hear about Falun Gong.
After two weeks we again left for Lapland, first to pick up the pictures from Ivalo and then to take them to a town near the border of Norway, to the most Nordic city of Finland called Utsjoki with 1400 inhabitants. We drove even further this time. Most of the inhabitants in this area spoke Lapp.
|Landscape Picture of Utsjoki|
At this time of the year the sun never sets in this part of the world and it is daylight around the clock. But the nights are still cold and snow covered the ground. In the morning, we practised the Falun Gong exercises. It was very quiet and peaceful with only the sounds of nature. The exercises helped us to continue with our trip and left our bodies and minds feeling light and peaceful.
The librarian in Utsjoki was very interested in the photos and the practice of Falun Gong. She helped us to spread news of the exhibition to the locals by putting leaflets on notice boards.
|The exhibition in Utsjoki Library|
We told her that when we return on the 25th of May we will teach the five sets of Falun Gong exercises for those who are interested. Upon our return, there were several people eager to learn the exercises. We came to an agreement to return again in autumn and hold another Falun Gong class.
During our trip, the weather was our challenge and it tested our forbearance. The rise of the temperature made the snow melt quickly and it resulted in flooding. It was difficult to drive and sometimes it was very stormy. But, as practitioner with righteous thoughts and strong determination, nothing was going to stop us and we continued our trip as planned and always reached our destinations.
Originally published in Finnish at http://fi.clearharmony.net/articles/200506/2851.html
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