United States: Falun Gong Practitioners Participate in Global Chinese New Year's Gala in Washington DC

On February 26, 2004, Falun Gong practitioners from the U.S., Canada, and Taiwan were invited to perform in New Tang Dynasty TV's Inaugural Global Chinese New Year Gala held in the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. This was the last of a series of galas that were also held in Taiwan, Toronto, New York (two performances) and Paris.

Heaven's Gate Opens

The gala presented wonderful performances. Several large-scale vocal and dance performances recalled the Tang culture and Dunhuang Arts. "Spirit of the Great Tang Dynasty," and "Heaven's Gate Opens" enabled the audience to appreciate the splendid culture of the Tang Dynasty; "Heavenly Spectacle" led people to the amazing Buddhas' paradise. There was also an alto's vocal solo, "Longing for China Proper" and an Erhu solo that made people feel the coming of spring.

The Falun Gong practitioners' performances were especially appealing; for example, a choir composed of Falun Gong practitioners from North America sang the song, "Coming for You" in Chinese and English.

The song "Coming for You" was inspired by an event in November 2001, when 36 Western Falun Gong practitioners travelled from around the world to Tiananmen Square to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong. They sincerely hoped that the precious Chinese people could listen to the voices from their hearts: "Travelling across thousands of mountains and tens of thousands of rivers, I came for you again and again. I come because I love you... Precious Chinese people, do you know that the world says, 'Falun Dafa is good,' please do not miss an opportunity that will never come again."

Mr. Joel Chipkar, a choir member, was one of the 36 Western Falun Gong practitioners who peacefully appealed on Tiananmen Square in November 2001 and unfurled a banner with the words, "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." When talking about participating in the performance, Joel said that it had a special meaning. He came to Washington DC to let people in Western countries understand why they risked their lives to appeal on Tiananmen Square. They went to tell people not to believe Jiang's lies, which were used to persecute innocent Falun Gong practitioners. He said that Falun Gong practitioners clarified the truth to the Chinese and people of other countries in order to safeguard the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.

Keith, another member of the choir, and his wife went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in 2002 on Valentine's Day. He said that the song reminded him of the time he was in Beijing. Surrounded by 17 police, he explained the facts of Falun Gong to them. He was forced to leave China, carried by two policemen. His clothes were torn, his shoes were lost, and his luggage was confiscated by police. He came back barefoot. He said this time they hoped to let more people know about Falun Gong through their song.

Many officials and staff of the U.S. Congress and federal government, as well as ambassadors and officials from other countries, viewed the performance.

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