Norway: A Practitioner's Painting Touches School Children's Hearts

In early 2006, a practitioner made a presentation to several classes at an elementary school to tell the children about the persecution and the torture of Falun Gong practitioners that is taking place in China. The pupils got to know about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that China as well as Norway and most countries in the world, has signed it. They were told that in Norway, as in most countries, one has the freedom to believe, think and do as one wants, as long as one doesn't hurt others, but that people in China are persecuted if they believe in Truth, Compassion, Tolerance, the principles in Falun Gong.

The pupils got to know the story of a little Chinese girl through a painting entitled "Homeless" by Daci Shen, a Chinese artist who lives in New York. The girl in the painting comes home from school one day. She has a bag on her back and a key around her neck. But what she finds is a blocked door and no parents, as they are gone. The 610-office, a Gestapo-like office which was established to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, has been at the little girl's house and taken both her parents and her home.

The pupils got a short introduction of what Falun Gong is, that there are five qigong-style exercises, and that the practitioners wish to live by the principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. These three principles are quite well known in the school. When these principles were explained, the pupils understood that it is actually the same principles that apply also at school.

Some of the exercises were shown. Afterwards, a boy asked, "Is this what is illegal in China?" and "What is wrong with this?" another asked.

After talking about the persecution and the torture, the pupils were told the story of a Swedish girl, Elvelina, who dreamt that if she could fold 1000 lotus flowers, it would be peace and an end of the persecution of Falun Gong. By folding lotus flower by themselves the pupils would support other children suffering under the persecution in China. The lotus flowers are beautiful. In China they are a symbol of purity. They grow in the mud and raise themselves to become pure and lovely flowers.

To fold lotus flowers one needs concentration and patience. The first flower was a little difficult to make, and the practitioner had to explain everything carefully. However, the next were easier. All the pupils managed to make at least two lotus flowers each, and many of them wanted to bring with them paper and gum, to make more at home. They had made "peace flowers" and were very proud.

While the pupils folded the flowers, they talked about what they were doing and about the homeless girl and what happened to her. "If we lived in China, we could maybe not fold these flowers" said one pupil that had thought carefully about the persecution. "Would we be imprisoned then?" were the question. We talked about this together, and thought that it was the girl that talked about Falun Gong, that might be put in labour camp.

It all was unbelievable for the pupils. They were very happy that they lived in Norway. Several of the pupils told that whenever they would look at the lotus flower at home, they would think about that homeless girl on the painting. They hoped and thought that everything would turn out fine for her in the end.

Originally published in Norwegian at:

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