Saturday, March 23, 2013

“Journey of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong)” Photo Exhibition Receives Enthusiastic Reception in Split, Croatia

One gentleman from Japan could not speak English very well, but he read the three characters for Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and said, “These words, very good.”

He carefully looked at all the photos and was shaking his head with a sad look on his face in front of the photos about the persecution. 

March 20, 2013
( The well known gallery “Foto Klub Split” hosted the “Peaceful Journey of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong)” photo exhibition on March 1-13, 2013, in Split, Croatia. Local media, including radio stations, web portals, and newspapers, publicized the event and asked for more background information about the practice.
The photo exhibit is presented in three sections: the establishment of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) in China, the persecution in China and the peaceful resistance to it, and the growth of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) around the world. The exhibition has been shown in dozens of cities and has served to introduce people from all walks of life to the peaceful spiritual discipline of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) and the persecution it faces in China.
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The president of the photo gallery (left) gives a warm welcome 
at the opening of the photo exhibition.
Club President Introduces the Exhibition
At the opening ceremonies, the club president gave a short introductory speech about the exhibition, calling the photos “great pieces of newsworthy photography” whose goal is to inform the public and encourage them to think deeply.
Local practitioners spoke to the more than 250 visitors in attendance at the opening, explaining why Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) practitioners inside China don’t have the freedom to gather and practice something “so beautiful.” Many were surprised by the fact that they hadn’t heard much about Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) before, especially not about the persecution.
They carefully read the handouts about the practice and the persecution and asked many questions, which practitioners answered in detail.
The visitors were especially pleased to see the paper lotus flowers, which symbolize endurance and moral discipline.
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Visitors taking Lotus flowers
Falun Symbol Explained
The symbol of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), the Falun emblem, includes the ancient Buddhist swastika symbol in the center and four smaller ones on the side.
An art historian who visited the exhibition said she was very pleased to see the handouts with the long history and positive meaning of the swastika symbol explained, including how Hitler had adopted this ancient symbol and altered its direction and meaning.
Numerous locals from Split were surprised to hear that there are swastikas on the palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian’s Palace is the historical core of the city of Split, protected by UNESCO. On the entrance to Emperor Diocletian’s sleeping chambers there is a decoration with swastikas.
People who remember the frightening reputation that Hitler associated with the swastika symbol are often pleasantly surprised to learn the symbol’s ancient meaning – that it is in fact a symbol of Buddha, and has been embraced by numerous cultures around the world with uniformly positive messages of good fortune, divinity and the infinite.
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Visitors at the exhibition
Visitors Touched in Many Ways
An older lady who came with her son and daughter found it difficult to look at the photos about the persecution, but continued looking at the peaceful appeals around the world. A practitioner explained to her that the idea of the photos is to awaken people’s consciences around the world so as to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China. The woman then agreed that it was indeed necessary.
A practitioner gave her a small gift of a hand-folded paper lotus flower and it brought tears to the woman’s eyes. She said, “It’s as if you read my soul. These are exactly my colors, and this message (on the lotus flowers) is exactly what I needed to hear in this period of my life.”
A Visit from the French Ambassador
The French ambassador to Croatia, Mrs. Michèle Boccoz, visited the exhibition with her husband. A practitioner helped to explain the photos in detail and to share information about the ongoing persecution in China. Mrs. Boccoz expressed her thanks for all the information, and both she and her husband took paper lotus flowers and informational handouts.
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After viewing the photos, the French ambassador accepts a lotus flower
Visitors Share their Reactions
One lady who visited the opening returned a few days later with a box of chocolates. She said, “The paper lotus flower and its message are so beautiful that I feel I have to thank you somehow. My two friends are coming to visit me tomorrow, and I will bring them to see the exhibition.”
Visitors carefully read the descriptions of the photos, and background information about Falun Gong, and this prompted them to share their experiences while traveling to China. They stated that they themselves experienced that repression and censorship in China are indeed taking place, even in this day and age.
One artist came to see the exhibition for the second time, and after seeing it again he came up to a practitioner and said, “I would like to thank you for this exhibition. Last time I took information handouts and now I’m back again.”
“You helped me break through the prejudice I had about Chinese people. Now I see we are all the same beings, seeking a higher truth, seeking spiritual truths.” He asked for a lotus flower as a souvenir from the exhibition.
Aside from locals from Split, the exhibition was visited by tourists from France, America, and Japan. One gentleman from Japan could not speak English very well, but he read the three characters for Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and said, “These words, very good.” He carefully looked at all the photos and was shaking his head with a sad look on his face in front of the photos about the persecution. He studied all the photos for a long time, and then left with a smile.
A Resounding Success
In almost two weeks, the Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) photo exhibition in Split was visited by over 1800 people