(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners in New Zealand were invited to participate in eight Christmas Parades between December 1 and 3, 2023. The eight cities included Hamilton, three suburbs of Auckland, and two adjacent areas (all located on North Island) and Ashburton and Timaru on South Island. Parade-goers got to see practitioners’ waist drum team, dragon dance team, or Tian Guo Marching Band.
The waist drum team participated in a Christmas parade in Kumeū near Auckland on December 1. The following day, the Tian Guo Marching Band played in two parades near Aukland—in Onehunga at 11 a.m. and in Browns Bay at 5 p.m. That same day, the dragon dance team participated in a parade in Matamata on North Island while the waist drum team paraded in Ashburton on South Island.
On December 3, the Tian Guo Marching Band participated in two parades on North Island—in Te Awamutu at noon and in Hamilton at 2 p.m. The waist drum team also participated in a parade in Timaru on South Island.
People applauded the practitioners’ entries and some took pictures or videotaped their performances. Many people said good things about the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and some were interested in learning how to practice Falun Dafa.
Allan, an organiser for the event in Hamilton, sent practitioners an email, thanking them for their contribution to the community. He said he thought their entry was the best and the parade organisers were very pleased to have them participate in the parade again. He wished practitioners a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Teacher: The Importance of Traditional Values
Melanie Shimwell saw the parade with her daughter Amy and two-year-old grandson. Melanie said her grandson really liked the Tian Guo Marching Band and couldn’t help moving in time to the music. She noticed that, although the band members were of all different ages, they cooperated well and walked in sync.
She said she thought the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance were very important, adding that she was a teacher and that her school focused on traditional values. “It is critical for children to learn about kindness, how to care for and respect others, and how to serve the community.” Her school also teaches meditation, which helps people calm down in this busy world.
Amy agreed with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and said, “Our society needs such values—everyone will benefit from them.”
Business Owner: The Persecution Should Stop
Neville, the owner of a rowing club, and his employees go to the parade at Browns Bay every year. When videotaping the Tian Guo Marching Band, he said he was happy to see practitioners in the parade again and was glad to see the group was growing bigger.
Neville said he sees practitioners doing their exercises on Queen Street in the city center every day. He said it was wrong for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to suppress this peaceful group, and he hopes the persecution would end soon. He encouraged practitioners to keep up their efforts and wished them well.
Tourist from South Africa Interested in Learning the Exercises
Rani and her son, who were visiting from South Africa, watched the Tian Guo Marching Band for a long time. Her son was interested when he heard the band members practice Falun Dafa. He said that he’d tried meditation in the past but could not concentrate. “The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are great and they can make our community a better place. Where can I learn to practice?” he asked. He wrote down the website, FalunDafa.org, and the location of the nearest group practice site. He said he planned to learn the exercises.
Impressed by the parade, Rani had hopes the band would perform in her hometown in South Africa. She thought the band members’ costumes were amazing. “I’ve never seen this before, but I really like it,” she said. She praised Falun Dafa and said that it was inhumane for the CCP to suppress such a peaceful group.
Realtor: Everything Is Great
Realtor Jo Harwood and her friends exclaimed, “Wow!” as the band approached. She said the music was mesmerising, the coordination between the band members was excellent, and the costumes were beautiful. She said everything about the band was awesome.
Jo commented on the need for Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in the world today and that she truly cherished these values.
“Our Society Needs Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance”
Lucy and John admired the Tian Guo Marching Band music and their costumes, saying they were “superb.”
Lucy, who knew the band members practiced Falun Dafa, said she supported the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and traditional values. They were also against the CCP’s persecution of the practice.
Margaret expressed her admiration for the Tian Guo Marching Band, saying that the music and costumes were extraordinary and that seeing them was such a memorable experience. She also stressed the importance of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and how much our society needs them.
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