Indian Embassy in Cairo celebrates UN-declared International Yoga Day

Ingy Deif, Tuesday 23 Dec 2014

Indian Embassy in Cairo celebrated the 21st of June as international yoga day, saying that the activity is steadily growing in popularity in Egypt

Indian yoga teacher Mr. Bharat Singh
Indian yoga teacher Mr. Bharat Singh

Yoga has always been a vital part of societies where philosophy, meditation, and self-reflection play a role in history and culture.

India is no exception, to that end, the Indian embassy in Cairo gathered members of the Egyptian media on 21 December to share information about International Yoga Day, a new annual holiday issued by UN declaration to be recognised 21 June.

The resolution was submitted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 September, and was supported by 177 nations.

Eighty days after the proposal was submitted, the UN General Assembly declared in its 69th session held on 11th of December that the proposal had been accepted.

At the gathering, Indian ambassador to Cairo, H.E. Navdeep Suri, talked about the importance of yoga in India’s heritage and how it is embedded in its history as a healthy lifestyle and a way to establish harmony between mind and body.

He added that the resolution was proposed to further strengthen the connections and dialogue between the Indian culture and other parties in the world, introducing additional elements into the beauty of yoga, which has already reached global prominence.

Suri spoke at greater length about the growing popularity of yoga in Egypt, adding that 155 Egyptians enrolled in yoga classes held by the embassy this year. This growing popularity served as the basis for the embassy to consider a “well-being weekend” as part of the upcoming “India by the Nile Festival.”

He added that in India, there is an attempt to rediscover the Indian yoga heritage, and that this paved way for the establishment of a new ministry that is dedicated to alternative health methods, among which is yoga.

Significant strides are also being made to establish a traditional knowledge digital library, which is to store and document over 34 million pages that gather the knowledge and information of the India’s health culture.

The audience was introduced to a small documentary about the deep roots of yoga in Indian culture and history.

Indian yoga teacher Bharat Singh also performed some yoga exercises (Asanas) at the gathering. Singh is also a yoga instructor at the Indian Culture Center in Cairo (MACIC).

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