By a Falun Dafa practitioner from Sydney, Australia
October 21, 2006, the annual Granny Smith Festival took place in Eastwood, a city
to the north of Sydney. On this beautiful Saturday, many local families came out
to watch the parade, and it was estimated that about 70,000 people came to the
festival. This is the sixth year for Sydney Falun Dafa practitioners to participate
in the parade. The debut of the Divine Land Marching Band was a wonderful surprise
for the attendees.
Gong's colorful procession received a warm welcome
The Granny Smith Festival
was established to honor Marie Smith, an agricultural technology immigrant who
came from Great Britain in 1838. She cultivated the green apples that people so
enjoy. By then, the Smith family lived in the Eastwood area, where they cultivated
this kind of apple.
The parade started at 10 a.m. It was led by Ryde Council's
float, a huge green apple, and followed by processions from different ethnic communities.
The Sydney Falun Dafa Association was also invited to the parade. When the Divine
Land Marching Band first appeared, the people along the streets were very surprised
and curious about it. The band has both Chinese and Western musicians, and the
music they performed was new and exciting.
When the Falun Gong procession marched
past the main stage, the host announced: “Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong,
is a kind of qigong exercise. Its teachings ask people to believe in Truthfulness
Compassion and Tolerance. Falun Gong has five sets of exercises. The movements
are slow and look like Tai Chi or yoga. Practicing Falun Gong can make you feel
happy, relaxed, and energetic. It is also very easy to learn. There is a Falun
Gong group practice site in Eastwood Park.”
After the parade ended, a local
city council member and a radio station host told practitioners that Falun Gong's
procession was magnificent and that the new Divine Land Marching Band was very
Falun Dafa practitioners from Sydney set up a table to distribute flyers
about Falun Gong's exercises and the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.
The table was on a main street and close to many Chinese stores. Many Chinese
tourists also came to the table to learn the facts. Some spectators saw the exercise
demonstration and immediately wanted to learn the exercises.
Original article date: 31/Oct/2006