March 23, 2013 | By Ran Zhang from Vancouver, Canada
(Minghui.org) The sun came out after a week of rain in Vancouver, Canada, just in time for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 17, 2013. Thousands of locals gathered downtown to watch the proceedings.
Falun Gong practitioners participated in the parade with a decorated float and a waist drum group. They attracted many spectators, including numerous Chinese residents, who excitedly took photos and videos of the float and the waist drum performance. The audience enthusiastically applauded the performance to show their appreciation.
Many Chinese people readily took information about Falun Gong to learn more about the practice. The largest local newspaper, Vancouver Sun, also published a photo of practitioners demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises on the float.
Falun Gong practitioners participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Vancouver.
A Chinese lady receives information about Falun Gong at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Vancouver.
Mr. Cui is an overseas Chinese who has lived in Canada for over 30 years. He stood near the parade’s starting point and cheered for Falun Gong practitioners. He said with a big smile: “I saw Falun Gong. I am very happy. Very happy. Canada has diverse cultures. I have lived in Canada for over 30 years. I am very happy to see a Chinese procession in the parade.”
William, a Westerner, cheered loudly and applauded for the float and waist drum performers. “I know them. They bring happiness to me. Today is a happy day!” he said.
Stephanie is Irish. “Today is our festival day,” she said. “I am glad to see so many people of different nationalities celebrating our festival together. They [Falun Gong procession] are very unique. People love them. They bring happiness to people.”
Ms. Jing is a Falun Gong practitioner. She followed the procession and passed out flyers about Falun Gong to the interested spectators.
“This year, a lot of Chinese people accepted the flyers,” she said. “I asked them if they wanted any informational materials or DVDs in Chinese. They happily accepted. From their accents, I could tell most of them are from mainland China. [Through the parade] they can see how the world welcomes Falun Gong.”
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