Tourist Spot

Over 5,000 People in Taiwan Send Message of Hope and Perseverance

TAIPEI—Liberty Square, Taiwan’s iconic tourist spot, was awash in a sea of ​​color on Nov. 12 as more than 5,000 residents gathered to deliver a message to communist China.

Their message was simple: While the communist regime continues to brutally persecute Falun Gong in China, across the Taiwan Strait, and around the world, millions of people have been practicing spiritual discipline freely for decades.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, consists of moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, as well as daily meditative exercises. Since its introduction to China in 1992, the practice has grown in popularity, leading to an estimated 70 to 100 million adherents in the country by the end of the decade.

But such popularity was seen as a threat by the ruling communist regime, which launched a massive campaign of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in 1999. Millions of adherents have since been detained, according to the Information Center. of Falun Dafa, and countless numbers have died as a result of the torture. or forced organ harvesting.

In the capital of the democratic island of Taiwan on Saturday, local Falun Gong practitioners, dressed in yellow, blue, red, black or white, sat in the square, arranged to form a massive version of the emblem of the practice, known as the Falun or the Law Wheel. Under the emblem, people formed a short sentence containing seven gigantic words in traditional Chinese characters. The activity commemorated the 30th anniversary of the introduction of spiritual practice in China.

More than 5,000 people gather to participate in a character formation at Liberty Square in Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 12, 2022. (Chen Po-chou/The Epoch Times)

Hsiao Sung-shan, professor of engineering at National Ocean University in Taiwan and president of the Falun Dafa Association of Taiwan, said in a statement that the choice to form the emblem had the specific purpose of ” transmit a peaceful, luminous and sacred positive energy” to society.

“The emblem is very sacred in the hearts of Falun Dafa practitioners,” Hsaio said, adding that practicing the exercises has brought hope to countless adherents.

He expressed the hope that people who attend the training – whether they see it in person in Liberty Square or in pictures online – will be tempted to learn more about the practice. According to Hsaio, more than 100 million people in 114 countries and regions have adopted the practice.

Hsiao explained that it was practitioners in China who organized the very first such training in 1996, before the regime began to persecute the practice. This tradition now lives on in Taiwan, he added, saying that Taiwanese practitioners have held the word-forming activity every year since 2000.

“I hope the Chinese Communist Party can end the persecution soon, allowing China to be like the rest of the world, where people can practice Falun Gong freely,” Hsaio said.

character formation

To make the formation of an image possible, practitioners in Taipei spent three days preparing in Freedom Square. They manually glued thousands of colored mats to the floor – the mats serving as the outlines that make up the formation – in a predetermined pattern.

On Saturday, practitioners, grouped by the color of their outfits, walked in the square and sat on a mat of the corresponding color.

Wu Ching-hsiang, a retired architect who created the training plan, told The Epoch Times that there are other character-building events around the world, such as people coming together to save the world. ocean or protect the environment.

However, these events are on a smaller scale than Taiwan’s annual character training, according to Wu.

Huang Chun-mei, organizer of the activity and vice president of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, also spoke with The Epoch Times. She said the annual event has been well received by many Taiwanese. As an example, she cited her daughter’s teacher, who has attended the annual character education and other local Falun Gong activities for years.

For people who don’t know about Falun Gong or don’t understand why so many practitioners stay true to their cultivation in China despite the persecution, Wu encourages people to read “Zhuan Falun”, the main book of teachings of Falun Gong, saying: that it has been translated into many languages, including English.

personal improvement

Liberty Square is a popular weekend getaway spot in Taiwan, with some people going there just for sightseeing, while others are taking a stroll or meeting up with friends and family.

As the character training unfolded, many people gathered nearby and watched the event. Some took pictures with their phones. Among those watching was a local high school teacher named Chen.

“I am quite touched. All these people have chosen to practice [Falun Gong]. And they can all sit there for a long time, and there is no mess, despite the hot weather,” Chen told The Epoch Times, commenting on Falun Gong adherents who participated that day.

Chen added that she is aware of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, since she subscribes to the Taiwanese edition of The Epoch Times in Chinese, which reports what is happening.

She said the world would be a better place if more people were like Falun Gong practitioners. As for herself, she said that she is learning more about spiritual discipline.

After the character formation was completed, the practitioners did the meditative exercises together before leaving the place.

Falun Gong, Falun Dafa
5,000 Falun Gong practitioners meditate in Liberty Square in Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 12, 2022. (Pai Chuan/The Epoch Times)

Two of the people who participated in the image formation spoke to The Epoch Times, explaining why they persevered as Falun Gong practitioners.

Huang Jeen-dar, 56, deputy director of an IC design company, said he started practicing Falun Gong in late 2004 after reading the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.” , which exposed the nature and history of the Chinese communist regime. The Chinese-language Epoch Times published the articles in a series of editorials starting in 2004.

Huang said he came to understand the meaning of life. That it’s not about making big bucks and being defined solely by your accomplishments. Instead, he said life is about improving your character.

Restaurant owner Lin Ge-zhi, 53, has been practicing since 2008. After years of following the three principles of discipline, he said he has become a better person.

He explained that he suffered from allergic rhinitis and often had the seasonal flu, but these physical problems have long since disappeared since he began to cultivate his character.

“Back then, when I was doing my job, it was more about money and fame. I was lost in my life,” Lin said. I have a bad temper and I have an easy-going personality.”

Frank Croc

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news from the United States, China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.