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Second International Day of Yoga celebration

The Embassy of India celebrated on 21 June 2016 the Second United Nations International Day of Yoga (IDY) at Al-Bassel Stadium in Lattakia.
During the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had urged the world community to adopt an International Day on Yoga. As a consequence, UNGA with the record consensus of 177 co-sponsoring countries agreed on 11 December 2014, to observe every year 21 June as ‘International Day of Yoga’.

Over 3000 Syrian guests attended the Second International Day of Yoga. Ambassador Mr. Man Mohan Bhanot welcomed the guests and conveyed his gratitude to the Excellencies; Mr. Ibrahim Khuder Salem, Governor of Lattakia; Comrade Mohamad Shreiteh, Secretary of Al-Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party in Lattakia; Brig. Gen. Mouafak Juma’a, President of Syrian General Sports Federation; Brig. Gen. Yasser Shariti, Lattakia Police Commissioner; Dr. Mohsen Khayer, Former Syrian Ambassador to India; Mr. Al Sharif Safi Al Fadel, President of International Business at Lattakia Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Mr. Mahran Khwanda, Former Honorary Consul of India in Lattakia & Tartus for their presence. He also conveyed gratitude to Yoga Acharya Mazen Issa who trained hundreds of Syrians in Yoga and led the yoga exercises of the Second International Day of Yoga.    

The Ambassador said that last year on this day First International Yoga Day was celebrated in Damascus, where the Embassy was surprised to see a splendid response from the Syrians in their presence, especially when Syria is in such turmoil.

He added that this shows the determined character of the Syrians to continue living against the adversities, and their resolve to end the crisis and bring Syria back on track-to its true glory. He clarified that over the past months, the Embassy had been receiving requests from the Lattakians to celebrate the Second International Day of Yoga in Lattakia, and the Embassy agreed to their request.  

The Ambassador encouraged Syrians to practice Yoga saying: “The purpose of Yoga is two pronged; the immediate and ultimate objective. On the immediate front, regular Yoga practice helps us to keep our body healthy and strong. In present times, even the people from the most affluent countries are finding it hard to cope with the exorbitant costs of modern medical system in maintenance of their health. In such a scenario the usefulness of the Yoga practice becomes all the more significant. A simple 20-30 minutes of Yoga exercise everyday can save us from acquiring many diseases.

The ultimate objective of the Yoga is of discovering our true mental state. A mental state that is in harmony with body and free from the negativities of violence, anger, greed, etc… Such a mental state is a state of happiness for self and of compassion for others. When an individual is blessed with happiness and compassion, he makes his family happy and compassionate. A happy and compassionate family constitutes a happy and compassionate community and so it goes across to regions, nations, and continents. In the end we get a happy and compassionate humanity in harmony with itself.”

Ambassador concluded by hoping that celebration of Yoga Day will be another step in furthering the friendly ties between India and Syria, and wishing for an early end to the ongoing Syrian crisis.   
The Governor of Lattakia, Mr. Ibrahim Khuder Salem, highlighted the Indian government’s supportive stance towards Syria in its fight against terrorism.

Brig. Gen. Mowaffaq Jomaa, President of the Syrian General Sports Federation, viewed the celebration as a reflection of the deep relations between both the Syrian and Indian people.


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