For six days in August, Falun Gong practitioners in Sweden participated in the annual Gothenburg Culture Festival, one of Sweden's largest and most popular city festivals. Attracting some 700,000 visitors throughout Gothenburg's downtown area, the festival combines a street party atmosphere with traditional and contemporary art, dance, theater performances, music, crafts and food from around the world. An oasis of calm near the train station on busy Drottningtorget (Queen's Square), the Falun Gong booth attracted many festival-goers who stopped to learn about this traditional spiritual practice based on Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
During the six days of the festival, from August 17 to 22, practitioners introduced Falun Gong to the public and exposed the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of the practice, including the large-scale forced organ harvesting of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners. Many people signed a petition calling for an end to the organ harvesting atrocities. A number of people became interested in Falun Gong and learned the exercises at the practitioners' booth.
|Falun Gong practitioners demonstrate the exercises at the Gothenburg Culture Festival|
|Chinese tourists stop to watch the Falun Gong activities||A practitioner talks to people about the 17-year persecution in China|
|Visitors to the Falun Gong booth sign a petition calling for an end to the CCP's forced organ harvesting crimes|
As soon as the practitioners started setting up their booth on the first day of the festival, a group of young people stopped by wanting to learn the exercises. They waited for half an hour for the practitioners to finish setting up. Even though it started drizzling, the young people stayed to finish learning all five sets of exercises.
A woman from Chile stopped by and told the practitioners that she had serious insomnia. She learned the first exercise from a practitioner, concentrating carefully on each movement. She came back the next day, asking if she could buy the book Zhuan Falun. She told the practitioner happily, “I started feeling sleepy around 9 p.m. yesterday. I felt asleep around 10, without taking a single sleeping pill! And I slept for the whole night. I haven't had such a good sleep for the last thirty years!” She learned the rest of the exercises and bought a copy of Zhuan Falun. Excited to have the book, she said, “I will start practicing Falun Gong today!”
|Teaching the Falun Gong exercises at the Gothenburg Culture Festival|
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