Illinois, USA: Introducing Falun Gong at Urbana Sweetcorn Festival and UIUC
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in Urbana, Illinois, participated in the Sweetcorn Festival and Quad Day at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) during the last weekend of August, 2017. Many college students and local residents learned about Falun Gong that weekend.
Falun Gong at the Sweetcorn Festival
Crowds of people from Urbana and surrounding areas poured into downtown Urbana for the Sweetcorn Festival on the afternoon of August 25. Falun Gong practitioners set up a booth to introduce the benefits of the practice and to expose the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong.
It was the first time for many Chinese students to learn about Falun Gong directly from practitioners. Because of the CCP's slanderous propaganda and Internet blockade back home, they haven't had a chance to learn that Falun Gong is practiced freely throughout the world. Some students watched from far away, some talked with practitioners, and many received introductory flyers and started reading facts about Falun Gong that they couldn't access in China.
A group of four students from China were surprised to see the Falun Gong booth. After watching from a distance and discussing with each other, they approached a practitioner to chat. They had a pleasant and relaxed conversation. The practitioner told them how the CCP has smeared Falun Gong and was persecuting innocent people. The students finally leaned the truth behind the issue. One of them said, “I thought you all look perfectly normal! I wanted to find out more. It turns out it was really like this, and the CCP has lied about practitioners!”
Many local residents also stopped by to learn more. They condemned the CCP for its crime of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, and signed a petition calling for an end to the atrocities. They also expressed how they admired practitioners for their great job of exposing the persecution.
Quad Day at UIUC
The Annual Quad Day at UIUC is a student organization fair for incoming freshmen. Hundreds of student organizations and clubs participated in the activity on August 27. The Falun Gong booth was surrounded by students. Chinese students were especially interested in getting information about Falun Gong which they couldn't find in China. American students were curious to find out what Falun Gong is all about.
Two graduate students from China chatted with a practitioner and learned about the benefits of Falun Gong. They also learned more about the persecution. They were angered by the CCP's inhuman treatment of innocent Falun Gong practitioners and they sincerely thanked the practitioner for helping them learn the true story. They left their contact information so they could learn Falun Gong later on.
One Chinese student spoke sarcastically at first, but a practitioner calmly told him about the health benefits and the principles of Falun Gong – Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance – as well as the CCP's lies. The student realized why practitioners work so hard to clarify the facts to others. Eventually, he expressed his sympathy for the victims of the persecution, and said he would never view Falun Gong practitioners in the same way again.
A number of Chinese students have spent a few years abroad and had learned that Falun Gong is recognized internationally. They expressed their support for practitioners' efforts in safeguarding human rights.