A grand parade took place in Ukraine’s capital to celebrate the Day of Kyiv.
The parade featured the Chinese dragon dance, and heavenly beauties with lotuses in hand. The star of the show was the Tian Guo Marching Band. The performers are all Falun Gong practitioners who come from all over Europe.
Tian Guo Marching Band performs every two weeks in London, Paris, Prague, Vienna, and other European capitals. This is their first time in Kyiv.
In addition to celebrating the Day of Kyiv, they also have a special mission: to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
“Through my music, I want to tell everyone that Falun Dafa is good. And Falun Dafa can only bring happiness and good,” said drummer Ma Xuehong.
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa is a Chinese spiritual practice. It is based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It is practiced in more than 100 countries around the world.
“Although this teaching has origins from China, it is close to people of absolutely all countries. These principles are the quintessence of the human soul, regardless of the culture in which we grew up,” said Lyudmila Orel, a local parade participant.
In China, however, Falun Gong is brutally persecuted.
Because of the extraordinary popularity of Falun Gong, former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin began to suppress the practice in 1999.
Many practitioners were imprisoned, tortured, and sent to labor camps. Many became victims of forced live organ harvesting.
“Falun Dafa is harmless. I’m aware of what the Chinese government is doing and I’m very worried about it. I don’t understand it either. I don’t see how a movement like Falun Dafa could actually constitute a threat against any government, any institution,” said Michael, a tourist from Amsterdam.
Kyiv residents were keen to sign a petition to the U.N. to stop the crime of forcible removal of organs in China.
“Such a big country like China should move to a more liberal attitude towards people, and if my signature helps a little, I will be very happy,” said one signatory of the petition.
The Tian Guo band members hope their music will continue to bring the message of peace and courage to each city they visit.