Speeches/Statements Ambassador’s Speech on the Occasion of 5th International Day of Yoga

Ambassador’s Speech on the Occasion of 5th International Day of Yoga

(21 June 2019)

Distinguished Guests, 
Ladies and Gentlemen, 
Good morning, Da Jia, zao shang hao!

Firstly, I must thank each and everyone of you for making it here early in the morning, that too on a weekday! It speaks volumes for the popularity of Yoga in China, as it does to the importance of the message of oneness and unity that we seek to promote through our event today morning.

2. This year, we will celebrate the 5th International Day of Yoga. Prime Minister Modi’s vision to promote Yoga, which represents the spirit of unity, has been warmly welcomed the world over. Just as we seek the unity of body and mind through the notion of holistic health and a conscious search for the self, that is intrinsic to the practice of Yoga, we also seek to bring with it the message of togetherness. Yoga literally means to join, and its celebration is a celebration of our common humanity, as well as a recognition of our shared aspiration to live peacefully with each other.

3. Since its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, the International Day of Yoga has emerged as a major event on the national calendar of many countries. I am happy to note that the Embassy of India to China has this year already conducted three celebratory activities, in Guiyang, at Shaolin Temple and also at the iconic Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan. As we speak another event is set to get underway in Qingdao as well. These are in addition to events that have been conducted by our Consulates in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

4. These activities, which have served to create awareness about this ancient Indian practice, have also become part of a global phenomenon that is bringing together families and neighbourhoods, societies and countries; they are sending a powerful message of maintaining harmony, within one self, with each other, and with the external world, through physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

5. As the message from Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi just emphasized, there is much to gain in real and practical terms from the regular practice of Yoga. It is the perfect anti-dote to the ills of the modern day lifestyle, stress and anxiety, as well as non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension. I encourage all of you to make it an essential part of your daily routine!

6. In my time here in China, I have met many Chinese friends who are enthusiastic practitioners of this ancient Indian practice. Yoga represents in that sense, not just the civilizational connect between our two nations, but also the modern aspirations of our two peoples, that acknowledges the shared benefit of working together in spirit of friendship and cooperation.

7. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all our partners in China who have supported the Embassy in organizing the various events as part of our celebrations of the 5th International Day of Yoga. I look forward to your continued support to celebrate the 6th International Day of Yoga on an even grander scale next year, which would also be the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two great nations.

8. Ladies and Gentlemen, with these words, I hope you will join me in what I am sure will be an energizing, and at the same time relaxing yoga session. As the ancient Indian invocation says: “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” - May there be peace.

Thank you.