Falun Gong practitioners participated in the annual Riddells Creek Festival for the first time last Saturday, November 10, 2018.
Riddells Creek is a town located next to the beautiful Macedon ranges in Central Victoria. A stall displaying information about the practice was set up at the festival entrance.
Many people were attracted by the bright display and the peaceful exercise demonstrations. Some learned the exercises on the spot while others planned to invite practitioners to hold classes at local fitness centers.
Practitioners showed children how to make origami lotus flowers and explained to them the principles of Falun Gong – Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Some children said they loved being at the Falun Gong stall.
At the end of the event, the organisers thanked the practitioners for their participation and said they looked forward to inviting them to come again next year.
Local resident Ms. Teddie Davis learned about the persecution of Falun Gong when she visited Hong Kong two years ago. She told the practitioners that she’d been shocked to learn that practitioners were brutally tortured in China for their belief. Since then, she has been paying attention to the matter.
Ms. Angela Rogan who lives in the Thomastown suburb of Melbourne spent the day at the festival. This was the first time that she’d heard about the persecution. She said she thinks the persecution is horrific and that no one should go through such brutality. She said that Falun Gong is so peaceful that it is hard to believe something so terrible is happening to practitioners in China.
Ms. Rogan said that she is always looking for peace, and is looking for something to calm her son down. She plans to go to the group exercise site in the future and give the Falun Gong exercises a try.
Ms. Yolanta Niedzwiecki, originally from Poland, also had a stall at the festival. She did the exercises with the practitioners and remarked that she felt wonderful. She said, “It is wonderful, so therapeutic. I can feel energy flowing in my body as I do the exercises.” She plans to learn the exercises at the Melbourne practice site.
Pye is a local resident who works in the IT industry in Melbourne. He patiently accompanied his two daughters who learned to make folded paper lotus flowers at the Falun Gong stall.
He signed the petition to stop the persecution. Pye said that he feels that Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance are traditional values and that people should be free to practice cultivation. He added that he hopes the persecution in China will end soon.