Treasuring This Period of Time: A Ukrainian's Experiences

Shared at the 2005 Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference Held in Stockholm

Hello everyone!

My name is Igor and I am from Ukraine.

Firstly, I would like to thank the founder of Falun Gong, Teacher Li, for giving us the opportunity to practise Falun Gong during this period of time. I would also like to convey our warmest regards from all Ukrainian practitioners to everyone present.

As Falun Gong practitioners, we realise the importance of acting together as one body. With joint efforts we can perform greater tasks.

Here I would like to talk about some group activities recently organised in Ukraine.

The Fa-rectification is forging ahead very quickly, but there are still many people who have never heard of, or know very little about Falun Dafa. Therefore, we have to continue to do our best to spread Falun Dafa on an even grander scale.

In the beginning of the year, we organised an art exhibition for the Chinese artist and Falun Dafa practitioner Zhang Cuiying in the north-east of a Ukrainian town called Severodonetsk. In this exhibition, we also included some paintings by Ukrainian practitioners and photographs from the “A journey of Falun Dafa” photo exhibition, in order to let people know about the history of Falun Dafa and it’s development up to now. It blended in with the exhibition very harmoniously.

The exhibition lasted for nine days. In one of the rooms we were showing Teacher’s 9-day lectures on the Falun Gong teachings and teaching the Falun Gong exercises. The number of people attending the exhibition grew day by day. On the last day so many people turned up that you could hardly find any free space. One day, an elderly lady with a waking stick came to the exhibition. She followed a practitioner who was telling her about the beauty and the deep meaning of Zhang Cuiying’s paintings, about what Falun Dafa gave to the artist, and about her plight along with thousands of other Falun Dafa practitioners in China. The lady was very sympathetic and as soon as she learnt that she could sign a petition, she signed without a second thought. She told us that while she was climbing the stairs to the exhibition, she kept asking herself “What are you going there for? What do you need there?” She later realised that it was destiny that brought her to the exhibition.

At the exhibition we also had a table where children and their parents could learn how to fold lotus flowers. There was always a crowd surrounding the table. This gave us a chance to tell people about the world project “Petals of Peace” and how it began; the principles of Falun Dafa and how in a very difficult environment practitioners in China can keep the purity of their souls – just like a gracious lotus flower emerging from the murkiest of waters.

There used to be only two or three Falun Gong practitioners in Severodonetsk, but after the exhibitions a lot more people started to practise, with about thirty newcomers.

We have all been inspired by the success of the exhibition. Therefore in the spring we organised three more such exhibitions in different cities in the north-east of Ukraine. During the process of organising the activities, we had experienced some difficulties with the local government who did not have a clear idea of why Falun Gong is persecuted in China. Practitioners used their wisdom and compassion to inform them about the situation, after which we had been granted permission to organise the exhibitions. They were all very successful.

After this we visited Vinnitsza, another city in the centre of the country. There we held two exhibitions, one of Zhang Cuiying paintings and another of the photo exhibition, “A journey of Falun Dafa”. During the previous exhibition we decided to start a guest book. As many visitors had been very sympathetic towards us, we thought a guest book with their words of encouragement could be useful when organising our activities in other cities. For example, if someone asked us what benefits we bring towards society, we wouldn’t need to answer - letting them view the guest book would be enough. Just joking. In reality, we rarely stop talking, in fact it is rare that our mouths ever shut.

Our guest book is now quite sizable. I would like to read a few quotes from it:

“The exhibition made me think what have I done for others, have I helped others?"

"Thank you very much for organising this exhibition, we really enjoyed it. I hope it will help to awake peoples consciousness."

"We are very grateful to you for introducing Falun Gong to us. It is a precious opportunity [Falun Dafa] that has been introduced to the world with all its sincerity and sheen. Here people help each other, nobody fights for his own interests, and everyone has sincere hearts."

"Thank you dearly for everything you have done for us and thank you for safeguarding the Truth."

"If the persecution in China is real, God will punish its government."

"While a person is alive, he believes in a miracle and is longing to see it. Today I have witnessed such, the miracle is here."

When we organise our activities, not only do we inform the local governments and media, but we also remember to inform the police and the Ukrainian Security Office. We offer them inclusive information regarding our activities and our aims in advance. The officials really appreciate this, so much so that they sometimes make us positively stand out from other groups which often neglect to inform them of their activities. Such a relationship gives the government a better chance to understand what Falun Dafa is.
Five years ago a lot of our activities were cancelled by our government officials due to the pressure from the Chinese embassy. For the past few years, as a result of our continuous and persistent efforts, whilst demonstrating the behaviour of Falun Dafa practitioners, the situation has improved considerably. Today we can protest outside the Chinese Consulate, hold Falun Dafa parades, concerts, exhibitions and other such activities.

Recently, more and more Ukrainian practitioners have begun to participate in various projects, using the skills and wisdom that they have gained after starting to practise Falun Dafa. One activity that we pay a lot of attention to is sending out Falun Dafa related material to the media. The media plays a special role in this as it is a tool that can allow many people to learn the truth about the persecution in China and thus be saved. From 2002 we have been publishing a “Falun Dafa Around the World” newspaper, with articles mainly related to Falun Dafa.

After sharing experiences with other practitioners from different countries, we realised the importance of The Epoch Times and now we are about to formally register The Epoch Times in the Ukraine.

We are also planning to set up a radio station in the near future.

I would like to stop here. We will make sure that our actions affirm the trust bestowed upon us by our benevolent Teacher.

We would like to thank the organisers for providing us with such an opportunity to share our experiences on such a grand gathering.

Thank you for listening.

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