(Minghui.org) Soothing music was heard in the early morning hours on Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall on May 8, 2023. Under a clear blue sky, a group of people did the Falun Dafa exercises, kicking off commemorative activities for the 24th annual World Falun Dafa Day and the 31st anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction.
Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, introduced the practice to the public on May 13, 1992. The first Falun Dafa Day was celebrated on May 13, 2000, just months after the persecution began in China in July 1999. May 13 this year marks the 24th World Falun Dafa Day and the 31st anniversary of the practice’s introduction to the public.
After the exercises, the practitioners held a rally to raise awareness of the ongoing persecution in China. Wu Shilie, secretary-general of the South Korean Falun Dafa Association, addressed the rally: “Due to the popularity of Falun Dafa, the number of practitioners in China reached 100 million just seven years after its introduction, far exceeding the number of members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which was 66 million in 1999. Out of jealousy, Jiang Zemin, then General Secretary of the CCP, disregarded the opposition of all members of the Politburo Committee, and forcibly carried out an unprecedented brutal persecution of Falun Dafa. But despite this, practitioners did not bow to the injustice. They firmly believe in and persist in cultivation, and have validated Dafa by living by its principles, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
Parade in Downtown Seoul
A parade was staged after the rally, led by the Tian Guo Marching Band, followed by a decorated float with a model of the book Zhuan Falun and completed by a waist drum performance team.
The parade route included the busiest streets of Seoul, passing through Gwanghwamun Square, the US Embassy in South Korea, the headquarters of the three major Korean newspapers Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo and Dong-A Ilbo, Jogye Temple, the main temple of Korean Buddhism, and Myeongdong where the large department stores “Lotte” and “Shinsegae” and the Chinese Embassy are located.
It was lunch time and many people were out walking on the street. During the parade, many people took photos with their mobile phones. Some watched quietly, while others carefully read the leaflets distributed by practitioners. Tourists also used their mobile phones to record the colorful parade.
Residents Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day
Goo Hyung-mou from Seo-gu, Busan City, took photos of the parade and said it was his first encounter with Falun Dafa. “I really liked this parade, and I learned a lot [from the content of the banners],” Goo said.
After reading a leaflet and learning about how practicing Falun Dafa can restore health, he said, “I also have health issues and I also want to learn Falun Dafa.”
Mr. Goo has been to the border between China and North Korea to help North Korean refugees, and he is well aware of the evil deeds of the Communist Party. After hearing about the persecution of Falun Dafa in China, he said, “People should live clearly and wisely, but the world has become very messy.”
Park Young-ho from Ansan City joined the parade. “I was born in China. Before I came to South Korea, I saw many people practicing Falun Dafa. The Chinese Communist Party persecutes human rights and should perish as soon as possible,” he said.
Benefited from Practicing Falun Dafa
Former yoga instructor Ding Sung-ok of Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi-do, started practicing Falun Dafa in 2009 after hearing about it from an acquaintance. She said, “Many questions that made me curious or troubled when I practiced other exercises were answered instantly after reading the book Zhuan Falun. I began to believe in Dafa, and felt that as I kept reading, I had more integrity. I feel this book is teaching people the right things.”
“Through practicing Dafa, I understood the meaning of life and feel that I should be more considerate of my family. I sincerely thank Master Li for giving me the most fundamental help in life,” she said.
After viewing the “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition” in the exhibition hall of Ulsan Grand Park in 2010, Kim Yu-ri set off on the road of Falun Dafa cultivation practice. Kim, who was in charge of planning at a design company at the time, said she learned new things from the paintings in the art exhibition.
She said, “Before, I always thought that China was a good place to tour, a good country with Confucius and many sages. But after I saw the artworks in the exhibition, I learned that the CCP is persecuting good people. I was deeply moved by the fact that some people are very determined even when they are imprisoned.”
Since she was a child, Kim wondered why people live and why people fight and work so hard. “After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I was able to look more directly at myself, and I found inner peace. I was able to really settle down,” she said. “My heart is full of light, as if I have entered a new world. It is difficult to express my gratitude to Master with words. Thank you, Master!”
Chinese version available