Located beside the River Elbe, the city of Hamburg in Germany is renowned for its harbour, large concentration of ethnicities and rich and colourful multiculturalism. The seventeen-day Altonale Cultural Festival held in June is one of the largest multicultural celebrations in Northern Germany and attracts more than five hundred thousand people every year. This is the sixth year that Falun Gong practitioners around Hamburg have joined this activity.
|Demonstrating the peaceful Falun Gong exercises|
|People learn to fold paper lotus flowers|
In the two Falun Gong stands, practitioners displayed a photo exhibition. The photographs describe the situation of Falun Gong in different periods: the spread of Falun Gong around the world, the illegal persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist regime since July 1999, and Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful protests against the persecution. They also displayed posters about the "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance Art Exhibition" and various leaflets with detailed information about Falun Gong and the main Falun Gong book Zhuan Falun in different languages.
In a third stand, people could learn the Falun Gong exercises from practitioners and learn to fold paper lotus flowers. This stand proved to be extreme popular and was always crowded. A little girl called Constantina from Greece spent two whole days with practitioners learning to fold paper lotus flowers last year. This year she came again and helped to teach others.
The Falun Gong exercise demonstration was also very attractive to passersby. Every time the exercises were demonstrated, people showed great interest. Some stayed a very long time. People also inquired about the special characteristics of Falun Gong, the benefits of practising and where they could learn the exercises.
People were very shocked by the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and the atrocity of the regime's organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. After learning in detail about the persecution suffered by practitioners in China, a lady asked for many leaflets and helped to distribute them. Practitioners felt that people are becoming more aware of the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
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