Panaji: G20 delegates from several countries on Wednesday (June 21) performed yoga ‘asanas’ on the premises of the Raj Bhavan in Goa to mark the International Day of Yoga. Goa Governor PS Shreedharan Pillai, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt joined the delegates in performing the ‘asanas’, hours before the scheduled G20 Tourism Ministerial Meeting here.
Wearing matching t-shirts bearing the G20 logo, ‘GOA’ and ‘Yoga for Harmony & Peace’, delegates from Australia, Germany, Italy and South Korea, as well as several tourism ministry officials, performed some of the common yoga protocols under the guidance of an instructor.
South Korean Ambassador to India Chang Jae-bok, whose dance moves to the Oscar-winning song “Naatu Naatu” had recently gone viral, also took part in the celebrations at the Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan campus.
About 130 delegates have gathered in the Goan capital for the fourth and final G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting that ended on Tuesday. It will be followed by the G20 Ministerial Meeting from June 21-22. Pillai and Bhatt also made short addresses to the delegates before the session.
In line with the ethos of the G20, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ — ‘One Earth. One Family. One Future’, yoga is not just for India, it is for the entire world, and it has gained “vast popularity” globally, Pillai said.
Mr. Bhatt extolled the benefits of yoga and the importance of the day, saying,
Yoga gave new life to many during the pandemic.
Many delegates called it a delightful coincidence that the day coincided with the G20 events, being held under India’s presidency of the bloc.
An Australian delegate told PTI,
It is fortuitous that Yoga Day and the G20 tourism track events being held in Goa have coincided. India took the lead in the UN (United Nations) in having June 21 recognised as the International Day of Yoga and it feels wonderful to be here in this beautiful state and taking part in the celebrations
Dieter Janecek, head of the German delegation to the G20 meetings here, said yoga is popular in Germany too and it can help further cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on an official State Visit to the US at the inviation of President Joe Biden, will lead the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
In a video message on the occasion, Modi said India has always nurtured traditions that unite, adopt and embrace, and made a fervent appeal to eliminate contradictions, hurdles and resistances through yoga.
He added that Indians have welcomed new ideas, conserved them and celebrated the country’s rich diversity.
Yoga strengthens such feelings, expands the inner vision, and connects us with that consciousness which makes us feel the unity of the living being giving a basis of love for the living being, the prime minister said.
In Goa, many G20 delegates shared that they performed yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the periods of lockdown.
On a cool Wednesday morning, as the Raj Bhavan rolled out the mats for the delegates, they performed ‘asanas’ such as the ‘tadasana’, ‘setu bandhaasana’ and the ‘pavan muktasana’.
A senior tourism ministry official had earlier said,
This is the main International Yoga Day event of the government, being hosted in Goa by the Ministry of Tourism. The delegates will get to experience this ancient ethos of India — yoga — and it is only fitting that the International Yoga Day has coincided with the G20 meetings in Goa
Recognising its universal appeal, in December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga by a resolution. The day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga.
The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Modi and accepted in 2014.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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