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SCO Secretary-General Zhang praises India for sharing yoga heritage with world

The Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Zhang Ming praised India for sharing the heritage of yoga with world. Zhang was speaking at an preparatory event on Tuesday for next month’s International Yoga Day.

India’s Embassy in China kicked off the preparatory events by holding an “Office Yoga” session at the SCO headquarters.The International Yoga Day (IYD) is usually celebrated with enthusiasm in China, where yoga is very popular, with numerous events being organised since its inception by the United Nations in 2014. It is celebrated across the world on June 21 every year.

SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming and Indian Ambassador to China Pradeep Kumar Rawat along with SCO diplomats attended the specially designed session of yoga postures for office goers conducted by yoga teacher Ashish Bahuguna of the “WeYoga Academy” Beijing.

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Zhang, a veteran Chinese diplomat, said: “Yoga is not only an ancient Indian practice but also a way of discovering ourselves and the universe. It teaches us the principles of harmony and balance”. “India is the heir to this great heritage” and shared with the world instead of keeping it to itself or hid it in a box, he said.

“The philosophy of yoga is consonant with the principles of the ‘Shanghai Spirit’ which call on us to live in peace and harmony,” he said. The SCO cherishes its rich, diverse and proud cultural heritage. This includes the practice of yoga, Zhang said.

“Holding this event on the eve of the International Day of Yoga has a symbolic meaning. It demonstrates once again the importance of cultural diplomacy for India. I am confident that a similar positive attitude, enthusiasm and extensive experience of our Indian colleagues will ensure their success in the role of the next SCO chairmanship,” he said.

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In September, India will take over the Presidency of the eight-member SCO comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

In his address, Rawat said: “India will assume SCO presidency in September 2022 and is looking forward to playing a very constructive role in enriching the role of SCO in all spheres”. “SCO is a unique organisation bringing people from different ethnicities, faiths and languages under one umbrella. Yoga also transcends differences promoting harmony and unity,” he added.

He also said,“As we gear up to celebrate the International Yoga Day in Beijing, this special Office Yoga session for the SCO Secretariat is the first of the series of Yoga events planned by the Embassy. This session will be a great way for office workers to relax and relieve stress.”

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