United States: Falun Gong Parade in Seattle's Chinatown

Commemorating the fifth anniversary of July the 20th 1999, when the persecution of Falun Dafa began, Seattle Falun Gong practitioners participated in two days of parades to help people learn more about Falun Dafa and the persecution in Chinatown and Seattle Centre.

July the 25th 2004 was the annual "Sea-fair" parade in Seattle's Chinatown. Sea-fair is the largest activity of the year, attracting more visitors than any other Seattle event. During the month-long event, there are numerous performances on water, in the air, and on stages, including parades and street markets. It not only provides a colourful show for the local residents but also attracts visitors from other states, bringing Seattle a busy tourist season.

The Chinatown parade's Falun Dafa procession was very eye-catching. Four male practitioners lead the procession carrying a large blue banner that read: "The World Needs Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance." Many people shouted to us when they saw the banner, "Falun Dafa! Falun Dafa!" A lotus flower cart followed, with one little practitioner sitting inside it. She was dressed in a traditional Chinese costume and sat in the meditation posture, peaceful and serene. The lotus flower cart attracted many children and parents. They surrounded the cart asking for little paper lotus flowers, creating a special scene within the bustling parade.

Seven female Falun Gong practitioners performed a Tang Dynasty Dance and a traditional Chinese Fan Dance, while other practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises. From the performances, exercise demonstration and music, the spectators saw the beauty of Falun Dafa. Many Chinese and Westerners cheered, waved their hands and asked for leaflets. From the reactions of the local Chinese people, we felt that more had learned the truth about Falun Dafa and happy to see practitioners in the parade.

The parade was broadcast live through the local TV Channel 11 and reached thousands of TV viewers. After the parade, many viewers phoned in asking for information about where they could learn the exercises.

The day before the parade, Seattle practitioners held a group practice activity on the lawn of Seattle Centre. In contrast to the bustling environment, the Falun Gong exercises looked extremely peaceful and serene. A watercolour painter took photos of the exercises and said he wanted to paint the scene. He knew little about Falun Gong, but from this contact he learned the truth about Falun Gong. He also showed interest in paintings created by Falun Dafa practitioners and said that he would like to view the paintings on the Internet.

Group practice on the lawn of Seattle CentreAn Israeli mother and sons joined the practice

A local resident sat near us and asked many questions about cultivation practice. A visiting mother and two sons from Israel joined our meditation. After they learned the exercises, they asked questions about cultivation and said they would read the main book of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun, after they returned to Israel.

In China, the persecution of Falun Gong has lasted over five years but the Chinese people today are different than they were five years ago. Many have learned the truth about Falun Dafa and more have begun practising Falun Dafa. The news that Falun Dafa is widely spreading overseas will be passed from overseas Chinese people to their friends and relatives within China. More people will learn the truth and beauty of Falun Dafa.

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