Holland: Falun Gong spreads in the Kingdom of Flowers

When speaking of Holland, people naturally think of the windmill. Sixty percent of its national territory is less than one meter above sea level, while twenty five percent of its land is below the sea level, with the lowest point been 6.7 meters below the sea level. It is truly fitting for the name of a low lying country. However because of Holland’s flat plain, the wind is very strong. The windmills can work continuously in draining water out. This not only helps Holland to avoid flooding, it also helps to make land fertile.

Aside from the windmill, Holland is also symbolised by the tulip. Each year tulips can be found blossoming towards the end of April. The tulip flower show and flower vehicle parade in Keukenhof is probably the largest and most beautiful of it's kind in the world. In this year’s 60th flower vehicle parade, in front of the parade was the Celestial Marching Band, a dancing group and waist drum group organised by Falun Gong practitioners. The audience was very impressed by the splendid performance given by the Falun Gong practitioners. The host said that he was very happy Falun Gong practitioners could participate in the performance, whilst commenting that he had never seen such a wonderful group and welcomed practitioners to participate again next year.

On April 21st 2007, with “joy and celebration” as it main theme, the 60th Dutch flower vehicle parade is lead by the Celestial Marching Band organised by Falun Gong practitioners.

Falun Gong is no longer seen as something 'strange' to many Dutch people. This is because Falun Gong practitioners can be seen practising the exercises and giving out information in the Capital Amsterdam’s renowned tourist sites, nearby the Queen’s office in The Hague. TV and newspapers also frequently report the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime. Dutch TV also reported the truth of the self-immolation incident and the public hearing by the Canadian independent investigators about the Chinese Communist regime’s organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

On March 20th 2005, Falun Gong practitioners held an anti-torture exhibition in Amsterdam’s Dam Square, exposing the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by Jiang Zemin regime.

How did Falun Gong start to spread in Holland?

Ms Wu Lan and Mrs Zhu were the first ones to start practising Falun Gong in Holland. They learned about Falun Gong from their relatives and friends in Mainland China. Before starting to practise Falun Gong, Mrs. Zhu suffered greatly with breast cancer and lost the will to live. “I was dying then. But at the end of 1994, a friend of mine posted me the Falun Gong book. When I read the book, I was moved. Later Zhuan Falun was published. I read Zhuan Falun frequently and within a week, I felt much better. I was not able to walk upstairs and downstairs and went out shopping; now I could do them very easily. When my family saw my changes, they all felt they had never come across such an amazing occurrence. How wonderful this practice is. Having seen the improvements in my health my whole family have also started to practise.”

After personally benefiting from Falun Gong, Mrs. Zhu wanted more people to know about it. “I only thought that this cultivation method is so good. To me it gave me another chance at life and so it would be selfish not to let others also benefit from this awesome system. I felt that I should tell everyone around me about it.”

Thereupon Mrs. Zhu’s whole family started to recommend the Falun Gong book to the Chinese people around them. Later Mr Zhu was listed on the Internet as the contact person in Holland. Therefore Ms. Wu Lan and the Zhu family started to know each other. They started to practise Falun Gong exercises together outdoors and as more and more people started to learn Falun Gong more exercise sites were established.

Ms. Wu Lan said: “We started to promote Falun Gong in the Parks from May or June 1995. We had some photos showing Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China practising the exercises. They contained an introduction to Falun Gong both in Chinese and in English. We also displayed the illustration of the five sets of the exercises taught by Falun Gong's founder Mr Li Hongzhi. Each time when we practise the exercises, many Dutch people and tourists from around the world come to see. More and more people started to practise.”

A Dutch young fellow named Ids was so pleased to find the contact information of Falun Gong practitioners in Holland through the Internet. In 1997, he found Falun Gong on the Internet and wanted to learn it. But he couldn’t find Falun Gong practitioners in Holland. Before knowing about Falun Gong, he suddenly started to search for the meaning of life. He said: “That was a very difficult time in my life. I suddenly started to think about life. Everyday was just work, work, study and study; I suddenly felt that I didn’t know what my life was about. I suddenly started to be very afraid of death, it was quite a strange feeling. How should I live my life? What is my work for? As time passes won't I just die? So I started to search around. I came across Falun Gong Internet site and saw three large words “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance”. These three words had a very large influence on me. I felt a warm energy filling my whole body. I tried to find Falun Gong practitioners around, but the Internet site had no contact information for Holland. Because I was worried that my movements may not be right, I didn’t practise the exercises and read the Falun Gong book before I found Falun Gong practitioners in Holland. A year later, I suddenly remembered the beauty of Falun Gong and went to the Falun Gong Internet site again. I saw two Chinese people as Falun Gong contact persons in Holland. I called them immediately by phone and asked then if they had Falun Gong book and if they could teach me the exercises. They said certainly they could. From then on, I started to practise Falun Gong exercises and study its teachings.”

Some other Dutch people also made contact with Mr Zhu and started cultivation in Falun Gong. They designed the Falun Gong Internet site in Dutch and listed Dutch people as contact persons. Later they decided to translate the English version of Falun Gong books into Dutch so that Dutch people could read them more conveniently.

But soon after, in July 1999, the Chinese Communist regime initiated a bloody persecution campaign against Falun Gong practitioners. At the beginning, Ids felt that the persecution was happening in China, he was helpless. But he continued, together with other practitioners, to translate Zhuan Falun into Dutch. In May 2000, the Dutch version of Zhuan Falun was formally published. “We kept up with doing exercises and studying the Falun Gong teachings. We realised that saying “no” to this persecution and stopping this persecution is very important. We started to establish the special Internet site to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and expose the persecution. We wrote letters to the government and contacted media and NGOs.”

Thus Chinese and western Falun Gong practitioners together started to clarify the truth to the media, government and Dutch people and tourists to Holland. From government officials to ordinary citizens, from reporters to students, more and more Dutch people learned the truth about Falun Gong. They used various ways to express their support for Falun Gong and called for the end to the persecution.

On May the 6th 2007, Falun Gong practitioners collected signatures in Amsterdam’s Dam Square, appealing to the EU to use open dialogue with China to urge the Chinese Communist regime to release all Falun Gong practitioners illegally detained, to condemn and stop the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.

In February of 2001, Dutch Foreign Minister decided to cancel his trip to China because the Chinese Communist regime interfered with the Minister’s contact with Falun Gong practitioners. Ms Wu Lan said: “He planed to visit China at that time and the departure date was already arranged. Before his trip, he proposed to the Chinese government that he hoped to meet Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong. The Chinese government said no and that the Minister’s entire travelling schedule should be arranged by them. The Foreign Minister immediately cancelled his trip. All members of the parliament and the second House of Representatives were very happy and praised his action and said he made the bravest decision. The evening that day, all Dutch TV stations broadcasted this news. Many Dutch people were pleased and said: wonderful, this is truly our Foreign Minister and he made a brave decision.”

The following day, the Foreign Minister’s decision became the front page news in all newspapers. Many Dutch people learned Falun Gong as a result. Some hoped to learn more about Falun Gong.

At the same time, Falun Gong practitioners continued, through different ways, their efforts to end this persecution. They demonstrated the exercises in the famous tourist sites and spread the truth about Falun Gong. They sent Falun Gong information to libraries in over one hundred cities, carried out an SOS walk, collected signatures to rescue Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China and organised a protest at the Chinese Embassy.

In February 2002, Falun Gong became the focal point for the media again. On February 12th 2002, Dutch Falun Gong practitioner Aaron Cornel and many Falun Gong practitioners from around the world went to Tiananmen Square in China to protest against the Chinese Communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. They also hoped to use their western faces to tell Chinese people “Falun Gong is good.” However as a result they suffered a brutal beating by the Chinese police. After returning to Holland, Cornel was interviewed by many TV stations, radio stations and newspapers. The continuous reports for many days exposed the atrocity committed by the Chinese Communist regime against Falun Gong practitioners. The whole nation was shocked.

In March 2005, the Dutch State TV station broadcasted a special programme about Falun Gong in its current affair programme. In the programme, it introduced that after Falun Gong was introduced to the public in 1992, it quickly spread to the whole China. However the Chinese Communist regime saw may innocent cultivators as a threat and banned Falun Gong in 1999. The programme also broadcasted crucial scenes from the award-winning movie The False Fire, exposing the truth behind the self-immolation incident. The programme also interviewed Falun Gong practitioners and let practitioners to emphatically comment on the forged scenes in the self-immolation course. This clearly helped the audience to see that the self-immolation was directly by the Chinese Communist regime to defame Falun Gong and to deceive people, with the purpose of stirring up people’s hatred towards Falun Gong practitioners.

After the programme was broadcasted, people were shocked. In the days afterwards, when receiving information, they told practitioners: “I watched the TV programme. Thank you.” When people heard there were Falun Gong information leaflets, they often came to take them, many took a few copies. There were still more people who came to Falun Gong practitioners hoping to get more information and learn the Falun Gong exercises.

In March 2006, the Chinese Communist regime’s atrocity of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners for lucrative profits was exposed to the international community. Members of the Dutch parliament made enquiries to the Foreign Minister on this matter. On July 14th 2006, Dutch TV2 broadcasted in its evening prime time a special report about the Chinese Communist regime’s organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. The title of the programme was “China’s organ trade”. It pointed out that a report from Canada confirmed that many Falun Gong practitioners in China died after their organs were forcibly removed. At the same time, over ten Dutch media reported the story behind China’s organ trade. One media reported: “The organs in China’s organ trade come from the murdered followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement to meet the orders.” The report also mentioned the statement by the Dutch Organ Transplant Association that stated they would not buy any organs from China and advised Dutch people not to go to China for organ transplantation.

Nowadays there are Falun Gong exercise sites in many cities in Holland. Some Dutch practitioners learned Falun Gong abroad and started to practise. There are also Dutch tourists learning exercises at the tourist sites. The true information about Falun Gong can be obtained in libraries and Chinese shops. This forms part of how Falun Gong spreads around the world.

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