On Sunday, June 19, 2022 the Embassy of India in the Hague celebrated the 8th International Day of Yoga (IDY) with the theme ‘Yoga for Humanity’ in the Atrium City Hall, The Hague. The event saw participation of more than 500 yoga enthusiasts and practitioners from across the Netherlands.
The Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Netherlands H.E. Mrs. Reenat Sandhu opened the celebrations with the lighting of the lamp along with senior officials of the Government of the Netherlands, who also participated in the yoga session. In her address, Ambassador Sandhu welcomed all the participants and highlighted the health and spiritual benefits of yoga, especially during the pandemic. She underscored the important role of yoga in bringing people together through compassion and kindness and fostering a sense of unity, because of which the theme of this year has been chosen as ‘Yoga for Humanity’. The ambassador also conveyed the message of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to adopt Yoga as an integral part of our daily lives.
The Common Yoga Protocol was conducted by the yoga teacher and students of the Gandhi Cultural Centre of the Embassy. Several yoga schools, Indian community representatives, elderly people and children actively participated in performing the protocol. The protocol was followed by meditation exercises on live rendition of Indian bansuri by a Dutch artist.
The representatives from Dutch armed forces also took part in the event for the fourth consecutive year. Yoga is part of curriculum of the Dutch armed forces and is taught on a weekly basis at various barracks.
Representatives from various Yoga schools in Netherlands were felicitated and encouraged to continue playing active role as Yoga Ambassadors of the Netherlands. The popularity of yoga has seen a significant rise in the Netherlands. There are more than 150 yoga schools in the Netherlands.
The event is one of the many events the Embassy organized to mark the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (Independence of India) and 75thanniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands.
The event was also live streamed to over 100.000 followers on various social media platforms of the Embassy.
In run-up to the event, young students from top universities of the Netherlands such as TU Delft, Eindhoven and Wageningen held yoga day in their respective campuses. Yoga students of the Gandhi cultural centre also spread the message of #YogaForHumanity by performing at famous and historic sites across Netherlands such as the Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Peace Palace in the Hague, the Delft City Centre and the Zaanse Schans, the windmill village.
Written by Nanda Jagusiak-Monteiro