St. Patrick’s Day is a National Day for the Republic of Ireland. The whole nation was filled with a festival atmosphere. After attending the Great National Day parade in Cashel on March 15th, Falun Gong practitioners also joined by invitation the National Day parade in Cork on March 17th. They were awarded the best dancing group award for their beautiful traditional Chinese dances during the parade.
|Falun Gong practitioners in the National Day parade in Cork, Ireland|
|The Mayor of the City of Cork, Councillor Donal J. Counihan presented the trophy to the Falun Gong group|
The Cork National Day parade started at 1:30pm. About ten thousand people gathered along the street to watch the parade. The Audience cheered enthusiastically when Falun Gong group reached the Chairman’s podium. The presenter provided this introduction: “The dance they are performing is called the Lotus dance. Girls are dressed in the traditional Chinese costumes. The lotus flower represents purity in the human world. In the Buddhist culture, the lotus flower has special meanings. The final section of the Falun Gong parade group is the drum troupes. Their performance is very inspiring. The sound of their drums can eliminate the evil beings in other dimensions. Therefore the drumming can bring people good lucky.”
Mary is a local resident in Cork. She and her family came to see the National Day parade together. Mary was very excited: “This is the first time I see a Chinese group perform in the Cork parade. I think their performance is wonderful. Very pleased to see them.”
Mary’s younger sister was full of praises: “They are really beautiful, especially the ladies in the Fan Dance.”
The parade ended at 2:30pm. The Falun Gong group received the best dancing group award for the 2008 Cork National Day parade. The Mayor for the city of Cork, councillor Donal J. Counihan, presented the trophy.
The Mayor said during this National Day parade, people from many other countries such as China, South Africa, Latvia, Poland and India also participated. Every performing group from each nation had demonstrated their country’s national culture. The Irish people in Cork also demonstrated their own culture. This kind of parade is the first time for Cork. The Mayor hoped that through such culture exchanges, people from different nations could understand each other better.
Regarding the outstanding performance by the Falun Gong group, the Mayor said: “The performance by the Falun Gong group is a very important part of the Cork National Day parade. Their costumes are very unique. They are outstanding in demonstrating the traditional Chinese culture. We are very pleased that they can join our parade. We also hope they would participate in more of our community activities.”
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