United States: Falun Gong Practitioners in Washington DC Participate in Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown

On the afternoon of February 5th, 2006, a Chinese New Year Parade took place in spectacular fashion in Chinatown, Washington DC, the capital of the USA. The parade featured elegant ladies in ancient costumes, Dragon and Lion dances, fireworks, martial arts performances, folk dance, twelve animals, Cartoon animals, bands, and children waving colourful flags riding on scooters. A huge five-story high firecracker thunderously echoed, spreading the festive joy of the Lunar New Year to every corner of Chinatown. Thousands of people packed the H Street Archway and both sides of neighbouring streets in Chinatown.

Local Falun Gong practitioners have been taking part in the Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown for the past few years. This year, besides the dragon dance, several dozen practitioners in golden outfits formed a waist drum group. Accompanied by the singing of "Falun Dafa is Great," they played the drums vigorously and in high spirits, gaining spectators loud acclaim and applause.

Falun Gong practitioner Dr. Huang Zhuwei, who participated in the dragon dance performance said that practitioners dragon dance group has participated in the Chinatown parade for the last few years. This year, they were the only dragon in the parade procession. After past years contacts with the Chinese community, Falun Gong practitioners have gained the understanding of the local Chinese people, and their relationship is harmonious.

Falun Gong practitioner Su Jing has received awards for supporting the Chinese Association Chinese New Year parade events in past years. The deputy chairman of the Chinese Association stated that early in the morning of each year parade day, Su Jing and other Falun Gong practitioners would come to the spot to make a rainbow arch with bunches of balloons. A business would charge about $1,000 for making it, but Su Jing has offered the service free each year.

Su Jing said that in the past six years, though Falun Gong practitioners have endured unknown hardships and persecution, their original intention for cultivation has never changed. "No matter where we appear in any corner of the world, our hearts are peaceful. Our only appeal is that the Chinese communist regime stop the persecution of Falun Gong. When seeing that more and more people have learned the truth and witnessed the beauty of Falun Dafa, we are gratified from the bottom of our hearts. We hope that all kind people in the world have a beautiful future."

Chairman Mr. Wang Zhenhua from Mei Jing Chinese Association said that as early as in 1999, he had got to know Falun Gong practitioners. "No matter what activities, either university activities or activities for older people, so long as we needed help, Falun Gong practitioners would go all out to help. They are a remarkable group, and I admire them."

Professor Nie Sen from Catholic University in Washington DC said that Falun Gong practitioners uncompromising courage in resisting the persecution, and their contributions to the Chinese community, have moved many overseas Chinese. They are respected as members of the mainstream Chinese community.

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