Ukraine: Raising Awareness about Falun Gong During a Town Festival

On September 8th, 2007, the small Ukrainian town of Krasniy Liman celebrated the 340th anniversary of its establishment. Local residents gathered in a downtown park where groups offered various cultural and artistic festivities. Ukrainian Falun Gong practitioners made use of the opportunity and exposed to festival goers the illegal, inhuman persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese communist regime during the past eight years.

Practitioners did not submit an application for attending the festival because it was not announced until several days before that the festivities would be held. They decided to file the application to the Department of Culture on the same day of the city festival. On Sunday, practitioners explained the situation to an organiser of the Department of Culture and obtained an approval immediately. The Department of Culture also provided a table for practitioners to fold paper lotus flowers.

Many residents were attracted by the demonstration of the graceful Falun Gong exercises, as well as by information boards depicting the wide spread of Falun Gong around the world and the brutal torture of innocent practitioners in China. After understanding more details of the persecution from practitioners, they all condemned the atrocities of the Chinese communist regime.

Practitioner Zhang Cuiying’s paintings also drew attention from those who love Chinese culture. Practitioners explained to them the illegal persecution that Ms. Zhang had suffered in person in China because of practicing Falun Gong. People were shocked upon hearing her story.

Practitioners also showed children how to fold paper lotus flowers. They told the story about the lotus flower as it rises from the mud where it is rooted, lotus flower symbolises the enlightenment to the truth of the cosmos that comes from true cultivation. Many adults also showed interest and joined their children in folding lotus flowers.

When the festival came to the end, another festival organiser from the Department of Culture told practitioners, “Your performance and activities are the best today!”

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