Spain is located in the Iberian Peninsula, southwest of Europe. It’s near the Bay of Biscay in the north, neighboring Portugal in the west, leaning on the Mediterranean Sea in the east, bordering France and Andorra in the northeast, and facing Africa through the Gibraltar Strait in the south. Its territory is more than five hundred thousand square kilometers and has a population of nearly 43 million.
Spain is a Catholic country with a long-standing history as well as unique culture. The Spanish tradition is simple and advocates nature. Many people like oriental culture, especially Chinese culture. When talking about “Taichi”, almost everyone knows it. Some people even feel proud to tell you that they have read “Tao Te Ching” written by Lao Zi. Some families are dedicated to the statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha Maitreya or Bodhisattva Guanyin and quite a few people have tried meditation.
“I found the true treasure of the human race”
In the spring of 1997, Spain hosted a series of cultural exchange activities such as the Chinese and Western Culture Art Exhibition, World and America Fair, Chinese Lantern Exhibition and so on. Chinese traditional arts yielded unusually brilliant results here. Every day, visitors came one after another and admired the Chinese delicate traditional art works with great interest. Among all the exhibition stands, one unique stand gradually attracted more and more visitors. The Beijing artist who ran this stand had left a pile of flyers laid in a neat stack with a note beside the flyers: “China Falun Gong. Voluntary teaching. Free tuition.” This sculptor is also a Falun Gong practitioner. She hoped to introduce Falun Gong to the Spanish people, which had brought benefits to her as well as hundreds of thousands of others.
The passing visitors would sometimes curiously request a flyer to read while admiring the delicate art works. Dañer is a blond young man, with a great interest in the ancient oriental cultures. He received a Falun Gong flyer in the World and America Fair. He immediately passed this message to his friends. The next day, Dañer drove with his friends from a mountain city two hundred miles away specially to learn the Falun Gong exercises. Dañer said: “When first hearing of Falun Gong, although it was the first time I’d heard of it, I felt very benevolent and familiar. The principles of Falun Gong—Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance—are the exquisite qualities what we human beings need. Here, I found the true treasure of the human race.”
A martial arts teacher took more than ten students to learn Falun Gong when he heard about the free classes. When the exhibition finished, he invited Falun Gong practitioners to his martial arts school to teach the Falun Gong exercises twice a week.
“I’ve taught for more than twenty years and this is the first time I read such a good book”
On the first inauguration day of the Chinese Traditional Art Lantern Exhibition held in the Southern Park in Madrid, a famous old compatriot living in Spain went to the exhibition lobby and looked at the stands one after another. Later, he came to the sculpture stand owned by the Falun Gong practitioner and was attracted by a miniature ivory statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin. The old man’s stare caught the Falun Gong practitioner’s attention. They talked and the man was interested in reading one of the Falun Gong books so the practitioner lent it to him.
After several days, the old man came to the Exhibition once again. The practitioner was introducing Falun Gong to another Chinese person living in Spain. The old man, who was not talkative, sat aside and listened carefully for a while before commenting: “I have taught more than twenty years and this is my first time to read such a good book.” Since then, the old man and several other Chinese people started to learn Falun Gong.
The Spanish version of “Zhuan Falun” was published
Although Spanish is called the third most popular language in the world, it’s not popular in China. Not many Chinese people understand Spanish; therefore they encountered many difficulties when translating Falun Gong books. The Falun Gong practitioners who can speak Spanish from China, South America and North America put in lots of effort between 2001 and 2002; the Spanish versions of Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun were eventually published. With the Spanish books’ published, more and more Spaniards started Falun Gong cultivation.
The dazzling pearl in the Spanish National Health Expo
In the capital Madrid, November 2001, Falun Gong appeared for the first time at the National Health Expo, which was the largest expo in Spain and had a twenty-one year history. Falun Gong, just like a dazzling pearl, with its unique and beautiful exercises as well as a simple yet profound theory, attracted widespread attention.
As soon as they came trough the entrance gate, people would first see the Falun Gong exercise demonstration on the lawn. Visitors from various regions in Spain stopped in droves to watch the exercises. From time to time praise could be heard from the crowd, such as “Falun Gong! How beautiful it is!” Many visitors took pictures of the exercise site which was jokingly called “the special scene in the Health Expo”. The expo’s sponsor also jokingly told the Falun Gong practitioners: “Falun Gong is almost becoming the special demonstration in the Health Expo. Do you know? Falun Gong is the only participant that can have the privilege to demonstrate outdoors.”
In the Falun Gong expo seminar, practitioners introduced Falun Gong to the visitors, demonstrated the five exercises and displayed a video about the persecution happening in China. Ms. Month, one of the expo sponsors, also gave a speech in the seminar. She enthusiastically praised the peaceful, healthy and spiritual improvement brought by Falun Gong. Ms. Month soberly recommended Falun Gong to all the participants in the name of the sponsor of the Health Expo and talked about her own experiences of trying the exercises. She said: “I seriously and conscientiously recommend Falun Gong to you, this most ancient and best Chinese exercise.”
The Health Exposition’s organising committee specially permitted Falun Gong practitioners to use any outdoor area in the Expo at any time during the exhibition. The practitioners taught the exercises on the lawn outside the lobby and groups of visitors joined the queue to learn the exercises. The practitioners on the stand also demonstrated the five exercises again and again without becoming fatigued and patiently introduced Falun Gong to the visitors.
The visitors expressed great interest in Falun Dafa. The flow of visitors never stopped coming to the stand to ask questions and take leaflets. Many people learned the exercises on the spot. A visitor (he became a Falun Gong practitioner later on) said: “I’ve rambled the whole Expo area twice, but every time I passed through here, I felt this is different from any other stand. I can feel there is a strong energy field here. In this field, my mind is peaceful, and I feel quiet in my heart.”
Many people signed up to attend the Falun Gong Nine-day Lecture Class where they could watch a video of one of Falun Gong founder Master Li’s series of nine-day lectures. Two boxes of Spanish Falun Gong books were sold out in only two days.
When the Expo finished, the nine-day lecture was held in the Madrid Culture Centre. Approximately one hundred and fifty people came, but the room could only accommodate fifty people. The practitioners could not find a bigger room at the last minute, therefore people just sat in the aisles and the passageway outside the room. The Culture Centre’s manager said surprisingly: “To Spaniards who are used to being comfortable, it’s really incredible for them to sit on the ground for two hours to listen to the lectures.”
Falun Dafa spreads widely all over Spain
Weekends and holidays are the days which Spaniards are most active. At these times they go out with the family or meet with friends to relax. These days are the busiest time for Falun Gong practitioners. They use weekends and holidays to study the Falun Gong teachings, practise the exercises together and travel to other cities to raise awareness about the human rights atrocities against their fellow practitioners in China.
When starting to set up the practice site in Barcelona, a Madrid veteran practitioner said: “During that period of time, I didn’t have time to go home when finishing work at 10pm on Fridays and just rushed to the bus station to take the coach at night. After a seven hour journey, I’d arrive in Barcelona the next morning. We organised to study and practise the exercises in the park at 10 am on Saturdays and Sundays, and then distribute leaflets in tourist areas. On Sunday night I take the coach again to go back to Madrid for work on Monday morning.”
The Falun Gong practitioners spread the Fa and taught the exercises from one city to another like this, and talked to many people about the Chinese Communist Party’s ruthless persecution. Through this continuous effort, more and more Spaniards understand Falun Gong and many of them with predestined relationship have started cultivation.
A practitioner said when recalling his experience of obtaining the Fa: “When my father was on his way home, someone gave him a VCD. My father didn’t watch it but put it on my desk. Out of curiosity, I watched the VCD and was astonished by its contents. That kind of brutal persecution actually is happening in China, which looks very peaceful on the surface. A strong desire made me want to deeply understand what Falun Gong is and why it is being cruelly persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party. Therefore I surfed on the Internet to look for more information. When I understood everything, suddenly I found Falun Gong was actually the truth I’ve searched for a long time and then I started to practise naturally.”
The Spanish Falun Gong Association usually gets invitations from cultural centres, Qigong groups or schools in many places to teach the exercises or hold introduction meetings and often some people take planes or trains from far-away places just to learn Falun Gong. Falun Gong is loved, welcomed and supported by more and more people in Spain.
The Spaniards support Falun Gong and are against the persecution
Since Falun Gong was introduced to the public by its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, in 1992, it soon spread to every place in China in just seven years almost a hundred million people practised it. In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party started to carry out the persecution of Falun Gong and claimed they would “eliminate” Falun Gong in three months. However, to the communist regime’s surprise, its persecution pushed Falun Gong onto the international stage, and made lots of people who at first knew nothing about Falun Gong start to hear, pay attention and understand this spiritual movement.
|People come to find out more and sign the petition|
The Falun Gong practitioners in Spain held an anti-torture exhibition simulated by real-people and collected petition signatures to call for an end to the persecution in many places across Spain, which helped more Spaniards understand this brutal persecution and sign their names on the petition to support practitioners’ human rights.
The head secretary of the prime minister's office replied to Falun Gong practitioners: “Please believe that the Spanish government is regarding the persecution of Chinese practitioners with worry and concern. At the European Parliament and the Human Rights Commission we have clearly expressed this worry and concern. We will take appropriate action based on the resolution regarding the human rights situation in China.”
|Protests support Falun Gong practitioners' human rights in China|
The Mayor of Toledo, Jose Carcia, wrote in a letter to a Falun Gong practitioner: “I have seriously read the materials you mailed to me regarding the Falun Gong practitioners who are persecuted in China. At the same time I will also use every possible opportunity, no matter in domestic or international occasions, to mention the persecution situation in China to the related people in charge and appeal to stop this persecution behaviour.”
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