On Sunday, May 21st, 2006, Falun Gong practitioners in Singapore participated in the annual Big Walk for the fourth time since 2002. The event, which was held by the New Paper, had about 55,000 people participating. Falun Gong practitioners' waist drum troupe and "celestial maidens" troupe became the focus of the event.
|Falun Gong practitioners participate in the Big Walk together with tens of thousands of residents||Banner reading "The World Needs 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance'" is especially eye-catching|
|Waist drummers are in high spirits||Beautiful "celestial maidens" bring the truth about Falun Dafa and good wishes to people|
The waist drum troupe, composed of more than forty Falun Gong practitioners, marched to the music of "Falun Dafa is Good" and "Joyful Happiness" during the two and a half hour walk. This brought a jubilant atmosphere to the long walk. Their vigorous movements accompanied by rhythmic drumbeats attracted attention from other walkers. Some people smiled toward Falun Gong practitioners, and some gave a thumbs-up. When approaching the end point, a group of walkers passing by the Falun Gong practitioners cheered loudly and shouted "Come on!"
Ten practitioners dressed up in ancient Chinese costumes as "Celestial Maidens," capturing people's curiosity. Many people took out their cell phones to take photos of them. Though exposed to the burning sun, these "celestial maidens" looked happy and cheerful, explaining to walkers passing by about Falun Gong. When walkers found "treasures" (candies and handmade paper lotus flowers) hidden in the flower baskets that the "celestial maidens" were carrying, they came to request them, hoping they would bring them good luck.
About ten young practitioners from Minghui School also joined the 10-km walk. They were quite warm, but all walked the complete route to the end point. When feeling tired, and seeming unable to continue, a less-than five-year-old young practitioner still kept walking and finished the entire route in two and a half hours.
This was the second time that the waist drum troupe participated in the walk, but this time was different from their participation last year, which was their first time attending the event.
Prior to the Big Walk last year, the police required the practitioners not to perform the waist drums during the walk. Practitioners understood that we did not need to get approval from the police whether or not we should play waist drums, as the organisers also said it was a fun walk, playing waist drum would only add more fun to the walk. Moreover, as a legally registered group, we could display to more people in Singapore the wonderfulness of Falun Dafa and the good demeanour of practitioners. Therefore, the waist drum troupe made their appearance in the walk. At the time, there were a large number of plainclothes police who "walked along" with the waist drum troupe, taking pictures and videotaping them along the way.
During the Big Walk this year, more practitioners played waist drums, and the police who have learned about the truth no longer felt necessary to trouble themselves as they did last year. After the walk, some practitioners in the waist drum troupe came across the police officer who "walked along" with them last year, and both greeted each other in a friendly exchange.
The New Paper Big Walk started in 1991, and attracted 77,500 participants in 2000 and has been recognised as the World's Largest Walk by the Guinness World Records.
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