According to Ms. Lin Jiehui, Chair of the Organisation Committee, the New Jersey Chinese Festival was initiated by ten Chinese community organisations fifteen years ago. It has become one of the largest annual Chinese community events for one hundred and fifty thousand Chinese Americans in New Jersey and the Greater New York area. About seven to eight thousand Chinese Americans are drawn to this celebration every year. This year, more than fifty Chinese community organisations, including the Hua Xia Chinese School and the Taiwan Chinese School, participated in the exhibition and performances like classical, traditional and ethnic dances, instrumental performances, choruses, puppet show, magic, martial arts, and art exhibits. The New Jersey Chinese Festival not only enjoys great influence in the Chinese community, but also receives a lot of attention and support from the state government. New Jersey Governor James McGreevey sent a government official to congratulate the event's success and to give an award. New Jersey Senator Lautenberg also sent a staff member to give a congratulatory speech.
For years, local Falun Gong practitioners have always worked on communicating with the Chinese community, participating in large-scale community activities, and grasping every opportunity to clarity the truth to local Chinese directly and indirectly. This time, the local practitioners applied for two booths to display Dafa materials. They also folded hundreds of elegant paper lotus flowers as souvenirs to go with the truth-clarification materials. In addition, a special brochure was compiled to tell of a few local practitioners' personal experiences of how they have benefited from Falun Gong.
Falun Gong was given the very first booth in the festival's activity hall. For thousands of Chinese and people of other ethnic groups who came to the festival, Falun Gong was the first thing they saw and learnt about. Unlike previous years, most of the people were happy to accept truth-clarification materials and CDs, and were glad to learn more. A local Chinese read "Falun Dafa is great" in the truth-clarification materials. He said to the practitioners, "Falun Dafa is great indeed!" Those who received truth-clarification materials read them carefully during the intervals between performances.
To support community events and to show the beauty of Dafa, Falun Gong practitioners also participated in stage performances. As former Chinese top-rated National Music Performers and now residents of New Jersey, Mr. and Mr. Chen Rutang played "Ode to Lotus" and "Pu Du" with their daughter, a few female practitioners dressed in costumes and some children demonstrated Falun Gong exercises to the music. The spirit of compassion in the music and the beautiful exercises deeply moved the audience. They warmly applauded the performers.
Besides the stage performance, Falun Gong practitioners asked for permission from the Organisation committee to give a waist drum dance performance. Dozens of practitioners from New Jersey and the Greater New York area created a new dance routine and rehearsed repeatedly. On the day of the festival, dozens of practitioners in bright yellow exercise uniforms gave a wonderful performance across the river from Manhattan. With the song "Falun Dafa Is Great" and bright smiles, the dancers' graceful movements won high praise from the audience. Most of all, the high spirits of Falun Gong practitioners once again deeply impressed the local Chinese.
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