HAMILTON, Canada—When someone is taught an idea from birth, it can be difficult to change their mind.
Donna Coady used to be a professor at Beijing University. She shared about her experiences in China, as well as what she saw in Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“It makes your heart just pound. You absolutely can’t believe that these kids can do such wonderful dancing,” Ms. Coady said. “It’s absolutely incredible. I’m so glad my ticket was $200 and I would have paid $400. It was amazing.”
Shen Yun is based in New York and it is dedicated to reviving traditional Chinese culture, presenting “China before Communism” to audiences around the world. Through dance and music, Shen Yun also tells the story of Falun Gong practitioners who have been persecuted by China’s ruling communist regime for their faith.
Having been a professor in China, Ms. Coady said she knows first hand the lack of privacy and the difficulty Chinese face in sharing their ideas and thoughts due to the communist party censorship and monitoring.
“Nobody believes it in China,” Ms. Coady said about the persecution of Falun Gong. “This is the thing that just makes me crazy. I was there for several years, and I had people on either side of me, listening to me in my conversations. And I would tell them what was going on and they thought I was a lunatic. You just couldn’t make anybody believe.”
But, she added, “I want to tell you something that happened tonight. I have a gentleman sitting beside me and he came in a little bit late. And I was watching him, and I could feel his body twitch. And he has a long face. I looked at him and I kept looking at him. And he started having tears running down his cheeks. And when they finished, I said to him, are you okay? And he said, ‘My mother-in-law is in jail with them.’ Can you imagine what he has to go through? So that’s why this whole thing is so important.”
This man’s mother, along with millions of Falun Gong practitioners, are being tortured daily for their beliefs. Falun Gong teaches its followers to live their lives following the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
“He’s here in Canada, not knowing how to get [to] his mother-in-law,” Ms. Coady added.
She ended by expressing gratitude for Shen Yun.
“Thank you for bringing this because it’s been incredible. God bless you all,” she said.
Reporting by NTD and Maria Han