International Yoga Day 2017: Over 180 Countries to Celebrate

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gift to India and the world International Yoga Day is celebrated every year on June 21. The idea for an International Yoga day was proposed by PM Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27 in the year 2014, and since then over 180 countries have adopted June 21 as the International Yoga Day. This year over 180 countries including Pakistan, the United States of America, China, and Egypt will hold events to celebrate the third Yoga day.

At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Narendra Modi said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” Since the proposition, the UNGA held informal meetings and adopted June 21 as the International Yoga Day.

As many as 180 countries will be organising events to celebrate the day, informed Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar. “The programme was held in 199 countries last year. This year, more countries will be added to the list and programmes will be held through our embassies and missions,” said Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Naik.

On June 18, Yoga enthusiasts across Pakistan stretched themselves to perform various ‘asanas’ of Yoga at various locations. The Indian High Commission in Pakistan also celebrated the International Day of Yoga with great fervour. The event was led by Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale in which a large number people performed various ‘asanas’.

Nearly 1000 people, including cricketer Suresh Raina, Preety Dhillon, Miss India Holland 2017, Dutch nationals and members of the Suriname-Hindustani participated in Yoga Day celebration in The Hague on Sunday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Netherlands. The largest ever Yoga event was organised by the Embassy of India with the support of The Hague City Council in the Atrium of the City Hall, an iconic building, often referred to as the ‘Ice Palace’.

A few days back the June 21 Yoga Day, people dressed in white shirts and trousers performed Yoga in an event in the United States of America. The Consulate General of India, Houston will celebrate Yoga Day on June 21, joining other 180 countries around the world. “We (India) export — well-being of mind and body — we do not export hatred or say that my religion is better than yours… what we say is that yoga is good for all,” said Consul General of India in Houston Dr Anupam Ray.

Egypt will celebrate the third International Yoga Day on June 21 with several events lined up across the country. According to reports, the events will expand to Alexandria and Ismailia, India’s Ambassador to Cairo Sanjay Bhattacharyya said. In Egypt, the Indian embassy is also planning to organise a couple of “flash mobs; one at the Pyramids, one at Qasr el-Nil (downtown) and one at Tahrir Square”.

On June 18, thousands of Yoga enthusiasts performed ‘asanas’ in China ahead of the International Yoga Day 2017. Scores of events have been lined up to organise the Yoga celebration. The Indian Embassy will organise dozens of events across the country. The main event would be held at the Great Wall of China on June 20. China was one of the countries backed India’s move in the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day.

“In Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people that in a family of three generations, all the three generations should perform Yoga and upload their pics in the Narendra Modi App,” the minister said.


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