21st June 2020; Asia Society Hong Kong Centre
I thank you all for joining us today for this unique celebration of the 6th International Day of Yoga.
In September 2014, Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, had called for observing the 21st of June as the International Day of Yoga at the UN General Assembly. His call led to a consensus resolution, which was co-sponsored by a record 177 UN member states, and was adopted in a record time of 75 days. And 21st June was proclaimed as the International Day of Yoga in UNGA’s 69th Session in December 2014.
In the five years since then, IDY has been celebrated across the world, including in special events organized by Indian Diplomatic Missions globally, with the support of host Governments and other partners. Collectively, these celebrations have seen participation of hundreds of thousands of yoga enthusiasts. IDY has also been celebrated with great gusto in Hong Kong – the first two years in the iconic Sun Yat Sen Park, and at Asia Society for the last three years – this year being the fourth. I would like to express my thanks to Asia Society for steering the event from success to success each year.
Friends, Yoga is an integral part of India’s spiritual and cultural heritage. However, Yoga belongs to everyone, as seen in its wide and growing reach. Yoga is not only about physical well-being but is a holistic way of life that can help its practitioners to attain harmony within themselves, with nature, and with the world.
Yoga is more relevant now than ever, particularly during these difficult and uncertain times of Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic and the accompanying restrictions across the world have put enormous strain on people’s physical and mental well-being. Yoga can help us in maintaining a positive life style in these testing times.
Yoga is immensely popular in Hong Kong, as is evident from the number of Yoga masters, practitioners and enthusiasts here, of various nationalities and belonging to different backgrounds, which demonstrates the universal appeal and strength of Yoga. Over 26 Yoga institutes from all across Hong Kong join together for our annual IDY celebration, and for today’s celebration of the 6th IDY, I am happy that most of them are able to do so virtually. Thank you for joining us, and for your continued partnership.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to our Guest of Honour, the Hon’ble Secretary for Home Affairs, for making time on a Sunday morning to grace our event with his presence.
Finally, I thank you all for coming today; and wish you health, happiness, peace, and mindful living through the philosophies and practices of Yoga.
– by Mrs Priyanka Chauhan, Hon Consul General of India to Hong Kong and Macau.