In the past weeks we’ve seen the Internet hype of hate-love towards the commercials of the Chinese show called Shen Yun. Thousands of people on social networks revealed that they were constantly seeing advertisements for this event that is touring worldwide.
What Is Shen Yun?
Shen Yun is a dance company and arts school that was founded in 2006 in New York by members of the “spiritual discipline” Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong. Falun Dafa is a religion that takes practices from the ancient qigong, a set of traditional Chinese medicine techniques that encompasses mind, breath, and exercise; to that, they add “moral content” to transform it into a religion.
This moral content is related to thoughts that among the great evils of humanity are homosexuality, the abandonment of traditions, sexual liberation, democracy (because it goes against divine mandates), and science, among others. In addition, they are also based on anti-communist ideas, which have helped them gain acceptance in the United States and other countries.
This religion entered China in 1992 by a Taiwanese named Li Hong Zhi. Controversially, years later, the Chinese government persecuted the followers of Falun Dafa and its creators because they considered it to be a sect that threatened the emotional and mental stability of those who professed it. Because of this government persecution, the exiled members of the sect moved to the United States and continued to recruit followers, until they had the financial ability to set up the Shen Yun company and attract more people through the arts.
How Was the Show Born?
As we mentioned, the religion, having economic stability, looked for other less controversial alternatives to make their moral principles known, and so they thought of doing it through art. With music, dance, and theater, they created a show that was easier to position in Western countries such as the United States.
The show has 20 acts in which they present classical Chinese dance, and ethnic and folk dances that help revive five millennia of traditional culture with vibrant costumes. In addition, they have a live orchestra and pieces that explain the works of Lao-Tzu, the elegance of the ladies of the Tang court to present-day China, and the oppression suffered by Falun Dafa believers.
Because of its controversial moral stances, in 2022 the Chinese Embassy in several countries issued a statement making it very clear that this show was linked to the Falun Dafa religion, which is considered a “destructive sect” that “manufactures and propagates anti-human and anti-scientific fallacies, and implements extreme mind control over its believers, thus constituting a serious harm to society and violating human rights.”
Hay que detener a la secta Shen Yun ya basta pic.twitter.com/Z40cwu8Hlq
— 🍚 (@sleepynthug) April 26, 2023
In addition, they add that more than 1,000 “Falun Gong” believers in China died because when they became ill, they refused to seek medical treatment, hundreds of “Falun Gong” believers committed suicide or self-harm, and more than 30 innocent people were killed by “Falun Gong” believers. As a result, the Chinese government banned “Falun Gong” in 1999. However, under the guise of a “religious organization,” “Falun Gong” continues to use various means to deceive the public and promote its doctrine in other countries.
In fact, for the embassy and hundreds of people in China and other countries, Shen Yun is not a cultural representation, but an absolute political tool to carry out destructive and anti-Chinese sect propaganda and raise money. This is related to the HUGE QUANTITY of commercials with which they had to promote their show.
Some people attended the show who mention that they prohibit the use of cell phones because they supposedly have a “super sophisticated” projection system that is patented and could violate their copyrights; although many claim that it is because they do not want it to come to light what it clarifies.
The issue here is that this religion is using deceptive ways to reach people. At Cultura Colectiva we support all kinds of art demonstrations, but not when it is used to implement homophobic or bigoted ideas to the public.
What do you think, did you see that commercial, would you go to this show?
Story written in Spanish by Daniela Bosch in Cultura Colectiva
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