High Commission of India in Colombo, its cultural arm Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC) in Colombo, Consulate General of India in Jaffna, Consulate General of India in Hambantota and the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy will organize a series of events across different parts of Sri Lanka to mark the 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY) from 17th to 21st June 2023.
A mega public event under the theme ‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ would be held at the Independence Square in Colombo on 17 June 2023 from 0645 AM onwards to mark the Day. Participation in the event, which is being held in collaboration with various partners including Ministry of Health, Government of Sri Lanka, is free for public. On 21 June, High Commission will organise another yoga event at the Port of Colombo.
Yoga enthusiasts will be connected from the ‘Arctic to Antarctic’ as a special initiative of the 9th edition of IDY. This year, Yoga will be performed on select port locations across the world forming a ‘Global Ocean Ring’. Connecting people the world over in a common pursuit of wellness, IDY 2023 resonates with the theme of India’s ongoing Presidency of the G20, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam i.e. ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’
To inculcate Yoga as a physical and mental wellness routine among the Sri Lankans, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre launched a 50-day run-up to IDY 2023. Since 01 May 2023, SVCC, in collaboration with government institutions, yoga organisations and local partners, has been organising Yoga events, workshops, lectures, demonstrations for different age-groups and professions. Some of the highlights of this campaign include yoga workshop for doctors of indigenous medicine, a yoga session at the Colombo Municipal Council grounds and an ongoing 3-day island-wide workshop for defence forces.
It may be recalled that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, piloted by India in 2014, proclaiming June 21 each year as the ‘International Day of Yoga’. The resolution was supported by more than 170 countries, with Sri Lanka being one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.
Yoga, like Ayurveda, forms a part of shared heritage of India and Sri Lanka. Indian diplomatic offices in Sri Lanka have been celebrating International Day of Yoga with the participation of the Sri Lankan leadership and public since 2015 with great fervour. Average footfall for the event over the years has been in thousands. There was also enthusiastic participation at the virtual events held in 2020 and 2021 in the wake of Covid-19, and in 2022 at the Independence Square in hybrid mode.