On May 13, practitioners from all over Romania gathered in Bucharest for a series of events to mark the 26th anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction in China. Their activities aimed to show locals and tourists from all over the world the goodness of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) and its principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
The practitioners demonstrated the Falun Dafa exercises in the morning as part of a weekly program at Herastrau Park, where volunteers provide free instruction to anyone interested in learning the self-improvement and meditation practice.
The exercise demonstration was followed by a three-hour quiet protest in front of the Chinese Embassy, where practitioners called on the Chinese regime to end its persecution of Falun Dafa that has lasted nearly 19 years.
In the afternoon, practitioners returned to Herastrau Park to collect signatures condemning China’s state-sanctioned killing of Falun Dafa practitioners for their organs. The public also signed criminal complaint petitions calling for the prosecution of former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin, who initiated the persecution of Falun Dafa in July 1999.
|Demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises in Herastrau Park in Bucharest||Demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy in Bucharest|
In front of the Chinese Embassy in Bucharest, practitioners displayed banners to raise awareness of the persecution of Falun Dafa in China and call for the prosecution of former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin for crimes against humanity. Some meditated while others held portraits of practitioners who were killed in the persecution, many as a result of torture.
The protest at the embassy coincided with an award ceremony for students of the Confucius Institute. The participants thus had the opportunity to learn about Falun Dafa and its persecution in China.
One practitioner explained why he went to the embassy: “This call from Romania is not an isolated one. It is part of a multitude of international activities that take place on this day that is so special for us and also for those who support human rights. It is a special day where practitioners are trying to make known the persecution in China, so that every person, every organization, and every representative of different states can stand up for [Falun Gong].”
“It’s an act of humanity that I think everyone can do… As far as I am concerned, knowing the principles of [Falun Gong], I felt a moral duty to do something...I think these are things that define you as a human being.”
Practitioners’ Efforts Win Public Support
After the Embassy event, the practitioners headed back to Herastrau Park to distribute information, collect signatures, and answer questions about Falun Dafa and the persecution in China. They also offered origami lotus flowers and demonstrated the Dafa exercises.
|Passersby sign petitions condemning the persecution. In the basket are origami lotus flowers||A young girl learns the Falun Gong exercises.|
A woman who had spent a lot of her life running the gauntlet of communist dictatorships asked a practitioner why Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted. She understood from his answer that the Chinese Communist Party relies on deception to maintain its rule and fears a large mass of people who follow Dafa’s principle of Truthfulness.
She recalled that Romania under communist rule was similar to China: “I remember that when a colleague was to be unfairly fired, I was not able to defend [the colleague] by telling the truth because I was afraid.”
Visibly disturbed by the memory, she continued, “But a person’s conscience is sacred. No one, no party, should have the right to impose on someone something other than what one’s own conscience believes is right.”
A woman who practices another type of qigong said she signed the petition because she is familiar with qigong techniques and also follows principles similar to those of Falun Dafa.
Two girls who had signed the petition before said they were praying for the end of China’s killing of practitioners for organs. They encouraged the practitioners to continue their efforts and wished them success.
A group of two families from Italy and seven other Italian girls signed the petition. Many children took origami lotus flowers. Practitioners told them that the flowers symbolize purity, because the lotus grows out of the mud but retains its brilliance and beauty.
In one family who signed the petition, the parents used the opportunity as a civics lesson for their children.
One woman who signed the petition said she had read a book in which a doctor explained organ harvesting crimes in China’s hospitals. Another woman said that those who go to China for an organ transplant should know that people would be killed in the process and that she would rather die than know that someone else was killed to give her an organ.
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