Ambassadors, diplomats take part in Yoga Day event; Jaishankar says its growing reach is evident


NEW DELHI: Nearly 60 ambassadors of various countries stretched and bent in different yogic postures in unison here to mark the International Day of Yoga, with many hailing the ancient practice as a “wonderful contribution” of India to the world.

The envoys as well as several senior diplomats from India and other countries rolled out the mats and performed various ‘asanas’ in a capacious hall at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Chanakyapuri at a Yoga Day event hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in his address said, “Its (Yoga’s) growing reach and acceptance is evident everywhere and I am sure particularly in the countries that are represented here.”

“By celebrating the International Day of Yoga together, we celebrate our common humanity. We are recognising that we have shared bonds. We are also acknowledging our sense of a shared global destiny,” he said.

The Union minister also reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words from his address at the mega yoga event in Ranchi that “yoga belongs to everyone and everyone belongs to yoga”.

“Its inclusion as world intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO underlines its global significance and benefits for entire humanity,” Jaishankar said.

Dominican Republic’s envoy in New Delhi and Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, who was present at the event, told PTI, “About 100 countries were represented at the event. Nearly 60 ambassadors took part in it, besides senior diplomats from other countries”.

“We appreciate that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar led the event hosted by the MEA on Yoga Day. The bonds among different countries will grow stronger with such events,” he said.

Ambassadors of Germany, Venezuela, Egypt, Israel, Bhutan, Estonia, Slovenia, Gambia, Nepal, Bosnia-Herzegovina took part in the event.

Envoy of Venezuela Coromoto Godoy, who took charge as her country’s ambassador in May, was ecstatic after participating in the event.

“This is the first time I took part in any Yoga Day event. It was wonderful, and I feel so relaxed. I and my husband, who also attended the event, we both do yoga before starting work at the embassy,” said Godoy, who sported a thematic white Yoga Day t-shirt.

“India and Venezuela both are very spiritual countries. I love India and its culture, and yoga is a wonderful contribution of India to the world,” she told PTI.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, Director General ICCR Akhilesh Mishra were also present on the occasion. PTI