Austria: The Story Behind Two Falun Gong Banners in Salzburg

Our Falun Gong exercise practice site is right in the heart of Salzburg. Apart from a young Chinese lady, all the other people who regularly attend the site are local Austrians. Salzburg is the birthplace of the famous musician and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Every year, many tourists, including Chinese tourists, visit the city for its history in music and for the quaint and charming architecture in the historical part of the town.

To let all these tourists know about Falun Gong and the persecution happening in China, the practitioners give out leaflets and other materials at tourist hot-spots around the city. Many people who visit the historical part of Salzburg are often surprised to see a huge Falun Gong display board.

Whenever we practise the Falun Gong exercises, there are always tourists passing by. We give out leaflets in Chinese, English, French and German. We also noticed that the Chinese tourists would often take photos of us. In order to show them our respect for the practice, we started to display the following sentences in Chinese: “The Pride of Chinese People” and “The Whole World Says Falun Gong is great!”

This was prompted by an incident which happened in September. Local practitioners were holding an activity to introduce Falun Gong to the public. I noticed there were two Chinese men watching our exercise demonstration, so I went and gave them some flyers. They accepted the flyers after some hesitation. Because they could speak English, I told them that as a Western person, I feel very fortunate be able to practise Falun Gong and this miraculous practice had brought many benefits to my life.

I told them that I didn’t come into Falun Gong for health reasons because I had always been very healthy. I said that after I finished reading Zhuan Falun (the core text of Falun Gong) for the first time, I understood that being a good person is so important to our world, particularly in the West where the morality of society is declining at a rapid speed. I realised the important thing in life is not to enjoy it through selfish means but to consider others and do good things for people.

I told them that I hoped the teaching of Falun Gong will not only be spread widely in the East, but also in the West, so that many people can benefit from it. For the future of mankind, it is important that people lived according to Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearnce – the principles of Falun Gong. I also told them, that my family and friends had all noticed that I had become more peaceful, friendly and kind since I took up the practice. I gave the book to all my friends and some had already started the practice. I told them that they should really feel proud because Falun Gong originated in China. After listening to me, they started to look bright and then smiled. They said to me: “Please never give up practising Falun Gong!” I replied: “I’m sure I won’t.”

So this was how the two sentences came about. “The Pride of Chinese People” and “The Whole World Says Falun Gong is great!” We made stickers of the two sentences and stick them on our clothes. We also put the messages on banners which we hang at our practice site.

We were delighted to find that the banners had attracted much attention from the Chinese tourists. They either read the messages out loud or took photos of them. As Westerners, our Chinese isn’t good and we’re also quite busy; by putting the stickers on our T-shirts or raincoats, we are also able to pass the good news to the Chinese people.

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