Finland: Falun Gong at the Kotka Ocean Festival

From July 18th to the 22nd, Finnish Falun Gong practitioners raised awareness about the persecution o Falun Gong at Kotka Ocean Festival and on invitation took part in the festival parade for the first time. Onlookers expressed praise for Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful aspect and beautiful perfomances.

Starting in 1962, the annual Kotka Ocean Festival has already become Finland’s biggest summer activity. Kotka is located in the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea coast and attracts 100,000 tourists every year. On the beautiful shoreline the tourists appreciate the sailing ships and the yachting competition. This year there were twenty nationalities and 100 sailing ships attending the competition. The children enjoyed the movies, music and magic, as well as other programmes at the seashore log cabin concert. The adults also had jazz, the sea shanty competition, the seashore market, with great revelry programmes and a grand parade.

Finnish Falun Gong practitioners rented a stall and hung up banners reading “Falun Dafa is good", and "Falun Gong practitioners in China are being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party". As well distributing leaflets, practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises. Very many tourists settled down to watch, chat with practitioners and many of them signed a petition to declare their support and condemnation of the persecution.

On July 21st, Falun Gong practitioners on invitation participated in Finland's holiday parade, the guiding banner was carried by young practitioner, Samuli, in front inscribed with FALUN DAFA, then a banner in blue and gold with the words "Falun Dafa Clears The Way", after that there were four young female Falun Gong practitioners displaying the lotus flowers in their hands. These were followed by five practitioners in golden yellow exercise suits to demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises. Finally, the banner Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance in both Chinese. The crowds unceasingly applauded the Falun Gong practitioners and took leaflets and lotus flowers eagerly.

Before the parade started Kotka’s biggest newspaper "Kymen Sanomat” interviewed practitioner Sinikka. The next day a report appeared on the front page about Falun Gong stating that the Falun Gong practitioners attended the parade for the first time but their contribution was very beautiful.

Article about Falun Gong in newspaper "Kymen Sanomat"

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