UN headquarters in New York lit up for International Yoga Day


The United Nations headquarters in New York was lit up with the word ‘Yoga’ in commemoration of the third International Day of Yoga. Renowned actor Anupam Kher switched the illumination lights. Veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher said it was a great honor for him to illuminate the UN building here in preparation for International Day of Yoga June 21. Kher took to Twitter to thank Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN.

“Great honor to illuminate the United Nations building, New York in preparation of International Day of Yoga. Thank you Akbaruddin sir,” he tweeted. The 61-year-old actor later shared a string of photographs in front of the building along with Akbaruddin. “Here are more pictures of ‘Illumination of United Nations Heaquarters’ in New York. It was great to meet honourable Syed Akbaruddin and other members,” he captioned the images.

“Yoga lights up @UN…Here’s a sneak peek of the iconic UN Headquarters building being lit up like never before for International Day of Yoga,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted. Kher also tweeted,

It is the second year in a row that the UN headquarters have been specially illuminated on the occasion of International Yoga Day. Several events have been planned by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN as well as the Indian Consulate here to mark the day.

On June 21, the mission will organize ‘Conversation on Yoga for Health’ at the UN in association with Department of Public Information and World Health Organization.

The Consulate planned its flagship Yoga event ‘Recharge at Battery Park’ in the city during which several Yoga sessions are being conducted by leading practitioners.

The Permanent Mission of India will organize a ‘Yoga Session with Yoga Masters’ at the world body’s headquarters on June 20 that will be led by Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan shram, India and Swami Sivadasananda of Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Austria.

Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary general Maria Luiza Ribeiro and President of the General Assembly Ambassador Peter Thomson are special guests on the occasion.

Meanwhile, as per a PTI report, hundreds of yoga enthusiasts gathered June 18 at the historic National Mall in Washington, D.C. ahead of the third International Yoga Day to mark the event. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna said it was a moving sight to see people turning up in large numbers at the heart of the U.S. capital for the event.

“What has happened in the last three years is quite phenomenal, that this movement of pushing forward and achieving recognition of the 21st of June as the International Day of Yoga, started by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, has brought this ancient discipline, philosophy, and practice from India into the hearts and lives of people in every corner of the globe,” he said at the event.

Sarna said the international event is neither a political movement, nor an economic movement. “This is something which is only for the benefit of all humanity at both an individual level and a macro level, because ultimately all societies in all countries are made up of human beings,” he said.

“If we have each human being who has a balanced view on life, who has achieved a kind of equilibrium inside and outside, I think ultimately will go and affect how nations govern and are governed and how they relate to each other,” Sarna said.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, in a citation, sent his best wishes for “a joyous observance” of the third International Yoga Day organized by the Indian Embassy here in association with the Friends of Yoga.

Virginia Governor Chris Van Hollen also sent his citation on the occasion in recognition of “the spiritual value that yoga and meditation offer, and with appreciation and gratitude for the organising committee’s outstanding efforts to encourage, peace, harmony and consciousness.”

Extending warm greetings to all who are gathered on the occasion, Senator Mark Warner, in his message, said the event provides an opportunity to celebrate one of the many important traditions of the Indian culture, yoga.

“The appeal of this ancient, holistic tradition crosses cultural boundaries and increases international understanding and friendship. I hope all of the attendees enjoy taking part in today’s activities,” said Warner, a Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus.

Warner said he remains very optimistic about Indo-U.S. relationship, and continues to believe that they can make great strides together. “As two of the world’s largest democracies, and with the incredible Indian American population that contributes so much to our culture, commerce and community in this country, it is critical for us to continue to deepen and broaden the existing framework of partnership and friendship.

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