Austria: Falun Dafa Practice Site in Vienna’s Wiener Stadtpark (Photos)

October 05, 2012 | By Qing Zheng from Vienna Austria

( Wiener Stadtpark in downtown Vienna, Austria, is a must-see tourist destination. Every day, visitors from all over the world come this park to have their photos taken with the statue of Johann Strauss near the entrance of the park. The golden statue is the most photographed statue in Vienna. In the same park, a group of Falun Dafa practitioners have been practicing the exercises every day for over ten years.

Chinese tourists watch practitioners doing the exercises and read the introduction at Wiener Stadtpark in Vienna.

Wiener Stadtpark is one of the locals’ favorite parks. In 2001, visitors noticed a new group doing exercises in the park. They were both Chinese and Westerners, and their movements were smooth and peaceful. From fliers that were handed out, the Viennese learned that it was Falun Gong, an exercise practice based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

As of now, the Falun Dafa practitioners have been doing the exercises in the park for over ten years. At first, there were only two practitioners, Melanie and her son, Alex. Melanie had just learned Falun Gong and felt more comfortable practicing outdoors. Also, in the park, she could meet many tourists from mainland China. She wanted the Chinese people to see her and know that, in a Western country, one could freely learn and practice Falun Gong, and that Westerners liked Falun Gong, too.

Melanie is not very talkative, but you can almost always see her promoting Falun Dafa at various activities. She is serious about what she does and honors her commitments. She often does the exercises from Monday to Friday in the park and carries fliers in both German and Chinese with her.

Melanie practicing Falun Gong in Wiener Stadtpark

Melanie tells how she became a Falun Dafa practitioner. Her son, Alex, told her about Falun Gong, but she didn’t pay attention to it. One day Alex told her that he was going to Victory Park in Changchun City, China, where Master Li Hongzhi originally taught Falun Gong. He wanted to tell the Chinese people that Falun Gong is good. Melanie didn’t understand why he needed to do that.

When he returned a few days later, she saw both his hands were bruised because of tight handcuffs and his clothes had been torn by Chinese policemen. That surprised her, and she wanted to know what had happened. Alex gave her a copy of Zhuan Falun and told her that all the answers were in the book. After that, she began to learn Falun Gong and started her journey of cultivation practice.

What happened to Alex in China? He checked in a hotel in Changchun City. He turned on the TV and immediately saw the programs slandering Falun Dafa. He left his room and distributed truth clarification fliers to the hotel staff. The fliers were written in Chinese and printed in Austria. The fliers explained what Falun Gong is and exposed the lies Chinese Communist Party had fabricated to frame Falun Gong. Next, he went to Victory Park and handed flyers to the locals. When he returned to the hotel, a dozen plainclothes police officers were waiting for him. He was detained, beaten, and put on a flight back to Vienna.

Melanie now understood the brutality of Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong and understood why her son wanted to go to China.

Melanie has now practiced Falun Gong for over ten years. Clarifying the truth of the persecution of Falun Dafa in China has become a part of her life. Except for taking care of her granddaughter, she spends a lot of time on truth-clarification and appeals to all walks of life to help end the persecution in China.

Another Western practitioner, Rene, has a different story. Rene was 23 years old when he learned Falun Gong in Wiener Stadtpark in 2006. By then, he had lost his job, and he and his friends were living on the edge of the society. He was disappointed in society, and indulged in parties, alcohol, and drugs and broke the law from time to time. Living such an irregular life, his health was poor and he was very thin.

Falun Gong practice gave Rene a new life.

One day, Rene was browsing online about human rights in China and read some reports about the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China. He wanted to know what Falun Gong was, so he contacted the local practitioner and started doing the exercises in the park. Before Falun Gong, he had learned some Qigong exercises and Chinese martial arts. After reading Zhuan Falun, he recognized that was what he had been looking for.

Two weeks after obtaining the Fa, Rene quit drinking, smoking cigarettes, and many bad habits. Soon, his weight returned to normal. Following the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Rene’s life also changed. He attended a vocational training and found a satisfying job. After practicing Falun Dafa, he met a lady practitioner who obtained the Fa at the same time in the same park and who later became his wife.

Rene has now practiced Falun Dafa for six years. He said Falun Gong has changed him from a dissatisfied youth into someone who is determined to follow the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance everyday and do as the Fa requires. He also wants to clarify the truth to everyone he meets until the persecution ends. Of course, this is also the wish of every practitioner of Wiener Stadtpark, both Chinese and Western.

For over ten years, the park has been a place for predestined people to learn Falun Gong. It is also an opportunity for the tourists from China to learn the truth about Falun Gong. Many Chinese tourists are interested in reading the display boards and taking photos of Falun Gong practitioners doing the exercises in the park.


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