United Kingdom: Falun Gong is Popular at Surbiton Festival

The cold morning soon turned into a sunny day as practitioners prepared the Falun Gong stall at Surbiton Festival. The main shopping street was lined with stalls, from local charities to exotic food. The Surbiton Festival is a community event with a grand parade and street market, which this year took place on Saturday 26th September.

By noontime the streets were milling with people who were curious to see what was displayed in each stand. Among those who came to the festival, many had the opportunity to see the stall about Falun Gong. They saw the gentle exercises, and were very interested to come to the free weekly session held in the local gardens. At 1.35pm several practitioners went to the station forecourt to do an exercise demonstration in front of waiting crowds. Spectators watched the peaceful Falun Gong exercises and happily received a leaflet with more information and a free lotus flower.

Passers by were keen to find out more Edward Davey MP (right) came to wish the practitioners good luck

Demonstrating the sitting meditation

Passers-by were moved by the fact that these people doing gentle exercises are still being persecuted in mainland China after 10 years. They showed their support by signing the petition to stop the illegal harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners' internal organ in China. The MP for Kingston and Surbiton Edward Davey also stopped by, and wished the practitioners good luck. He explained that he had experienced some heated conversations on human rights with the Chinese ambassador and officials in the past.

The next morning practitioners gathered in the gardens to start the weekly practice session. Those who had seen the stall in Surbiton, or heard about Falun Gong in another way, came to join. One Cantonese lady had tried qigong before. After trying the Falun Gong exercises she felt it was very effective. She also did not understand why such a beautiful practice is banned in mainland China.

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