On Saturday, May 6, more than 30 Falun Gong practitioners from Slovakia gathered at Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava to celebrate the upcoming World Falun Dafa Day, May 13, with group exercises and activities.
It was on May 13, 1992, when Mr. Li Hongzhi introduced Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) to the public in a seminar in Changchun in northeast China. About 180 people attended the seminar at that time, but within a short seven years, the number of practitioners in China alone increased to 100 million. Today, Falun Gong is practiced in more than 80 countries and its teachings are available in 40 languages.
Every year on May 13, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters celebrate Falun Dafa Day, expressing their gratitude to Mr. Li for his teachings and the positive changes the practice has brought to their lives.
The event in Bratislava was part of these events. Passersby were able to learn about Falun Gong as well as the history and current situation of the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
A tourist from Germany said, “What you are doing is good. Keep it up.” A tourist from Spain even joined the meditating practitioners for a while and immediately looked up the Falun Dafa website in Spanish to get more information.
A German tour guide asked what the event was about and then explained it to the group of tourists she was accompanying, almost as if the practitioners’ event was a fixed part of Hviezdoslav Square.
A couple from Bratislava, after signing a petition to protest the persecution, asked about the exercise site in Bratislava and said that they would like to come and learn Falun Gong sometime.
Many of the younger people took away beautiful paper lotus flowers that the practitioners had made.
Practitioners from all over the country who gathered at the event took a group photo to express their gratitude and to wish Master Li a happy birthday.
Practitioner Peter Ondrusek, an artist, said he would like to thank Master Li and wish him a happy birthday. He brought one of his paintings to the event. It was a piece he had painted to commemorate the same event held three years ago when he held up a sign that read “Falun Dafa Is Good” in Chinese. He said that was an unforgettable moment that was imprinted in his memory. He said about the image, “Maybe there is no need to look for a complicated topic; this topic itself has the idea that Falun Dafa is good.” Through the painting, he wants to get this message across to more people.
As a practitioner, Peter said that he would like to improve even more because he sees many gaps in his cultivation.
Ms. Loan from Komarno in southern Slovakia started practicing Falun Gong in 2014. On the occasion of Falun Dafa Day, she wanted to thank Master Li and wish him all the best.
She wanted to thank Master for allowing her to become a Falun Dafa practitioner. She said that her life has become happier and her health is much stronger. The quality of her life has completely changed, and words cannot express how precious Falun Dafa is—she feels she could hardly have gotten anything better.
Ms. Loan studies the Fa teachings every day to learn how to be a better person. Every day she also looks for her shortcomings and tries to work on them. She would like to help many people learn about Dafa, so that they can be happy, too. “I had a dream that many people were still waiting for me to teach them about Falun Dafa,” said Ms. Loan.
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