Germany: Falun Gong Practitioners Invited to Participate in the Hannover Festival

The Ferryman’s Festival is a popular open-air festival that takes place close to a small river. The organiser invited us to participate when we met at one of our Falun Gong events because he noticed that our demonstrations of paper Lotus Flower folding and Chinese calligraphy were extremely popular. On both days of the festival, our yellow booth was a great attraction, especially for children of various nationalities living in Germany with their parents.

While we were folding Lotus Flowers, we had lots of discussions about Falun Gong and the persecution in China. One Turkish boy said that he had "never heard anything quite that horrible” and asked: “Why aren’t the newspapers reporting this?”

We demonstrated the five Falun Gong exercises right next to our booth. Some of the children were mischievous and ran among the practitioners, pulling at their clothes; when one of the practitioners told them to stop, they started to ask questions. The practitioner told them that the exercises were meant to strengthen and cleanse the body, to help us enter tranquillity, and to improve concentration even at school and during study. In addition, Falun Dafa is a good practice, which deserves to be treated with respect, just as they like to be treated with respect, too. They accepted this explanation and stopped their mischief.

A demonstration of Chinese calligraphy stimulated everyone’s curiosity. There were always were people lined up who wanted to receive a copy of their name in beautiful lettering and who admiringly watched the Chinese practitioner who calmly wielded the brush. One man had received his name last year and had attached it carefully to the case containing his reading glasses, next to a Falun Gong bookmark. Now he was bringing his wife and daughter to ask for their names in calligraphy as well. When our Chinese fellow practitioner was taking a little break, strolling around the festival area, he noticed that many people already knew him and were smiling at him.

Toward the end of the day, we managed to clear up a misunderstanding. One very upset gentleman came by and accused us of thoughtlessly using the term “labour camp”. We had exhibited a poster where a practitioner is sitting in meditation in the lotus position captioned “Imagine you could be sent to a labour camp for doing this.” The gentleman was Jewish and thought that only Germany under National Socialism had labour camps and felt offended. We told him the truth about China, explaining that Falun Gong practitioners are unjustly being sent to labour camps and brutally tortured. He had never heard of this before.

We were able to tell many people the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China during those two days. Some even wanted to learn the exercises and we asked them to come to our weekly group practise.

Originally published in German at:

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