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Ambassador's Interview with VOV on IDY-2022

Posted on: June 18, 2022 | Back | Print

“Yoga provides a strong cultural and people-to-people connection between Vietnam and India”

Listen to the audio interview here:

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam has always been an important partner of India in promoting and celebrating International Day of Yoga, according to Indian Ambassador Pranay Verma. The widespread love for Yoga in Vietnam has brought about a strong cultural connection and people-to-people exchange between the two countries, Ambassador Verma said during a special interview granted to VOV5 to mark International Day of Yoga 2022 (June 21). Below is the full text of the interview.
“Yoga provides a strong cultural and people-to-people connection between Vietnam and India” - ảnh 1Ambassador Pranay Verma speaks at the IDY celebration on May 29, 2022, at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam province. (Photo credit: indembassyhanoi.gov.in)

VOV: A report from India’s Ministry of External Affairs indicates that Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Why is Yoga still relevant until today with an estimated 300 million practitioners around the world?  

Ambassador: Yoga is a unique contribution from the ancient Indian civilization to the modern world. Today, Yoga is helping to connect the humanity across the world to achieve a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. It is providing a unique way to gain holistic well-being by developing harmony between mind and body, thought and action, and nature and mankind.

Yoga’s relevance is being particularly felt in the present times, when people all around the world are adapting their lives to the stresses of modern-day living, including the new reality of the pandemic. Yoga is helping millions across the world in maintaining a healthy regimen and in boosting immunity and sense of balance. In addition to physical fitness, Yoga brings psychological benefits against depression and stresses and strains of our day-to-day lives, such as those brought by the sufferings and hardships in the wake of the pandemic.  

VOV:    Vietnam and India are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations (1972-2022) which encompass multiple areas, from politics, economics, and national defense to culture and people-to-people exchange. Are the celebrations for International Day of Yoga in Vietnam different this year?

Ambassador: International Day of Yoga this year is also taking place in the larger context of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of India-Vietnam diplomatic relations. This year, India is also celebrating the 75th anniversary of its independence known as “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.” These milestones have created new enthusiasm and added new significance to our International Day of Yoga celebrations, which we are organizing in almost 25 provinces/cities of Vietnam.

In addition to Yoga practices that we are organizing during the IDY events this year, we have also added, for example, photo exhibitions on the achievements of our bilateral relations, tourism promotion activities and colourful cultural programmes, in order to showcase the added significance of our celebrations for the 50 years of diplomatic relations. Our cooperation in Yoga and through Yoga, the close people-to-people exchanges, provide a strong basis of our efforts to get the participation of our people in these celebrations. 

VOV: Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province was chosen to be part of the Global Yoga Ring for a live television broadcast by Indian national broadcaster, Doordarshan.  Can you elaborate on this program?

Ambassador: This year, to mark the 8th International Day of Yoga on 21 June, Vietnam is one of our partner countries in a special program being organised by the Government of India, called the Global Yoga Ring or the Guardian Ring, in which India’s national television broadcaster, Doordarshan will be carrying out live telecast of events, based on time zones, from all around the world for 24 hours without break.  For this, the Embassy of India has joined hands with Quang Ninh province to organize a big event at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Ha Long Bay, from where the event will be live telecast by Doordarshan to millions of households in India between 6-7 am on 21 June. For this, special technical arrangements are being made.

We are hopeful that the live telecast of the event will generate greater awareness in both our countries of the special connection between us through the practice of Yoga. At the same time, it will also promote cultural and tourism awareness among the people of India about the scenic Ha Long Bay.

VOV: Yoga has become increasingly popular in Vietnam. How does it contribute to enhancing cultural exchanges between the two countries?

Ambassador: It is heartening to see the popularity of Yoga across the length and breadth of Vietnam today. This provides a strong cultural and people-to-people connection between Vietnam and India. There are many Yoga instructors from India, who are teaching Yoga practices to Vietnamese people in several provinces of Vietnam. Also, there are many people from Vietnam who are studying Yoga in Indian institutions and learning from classical Indian literature the deeper meanings of Yoga. Yoga has also emerged as a tourism attraction, with many destinations in India welcoming visitors from Vietnam for a unique experience of health and wellness through Yoga and for an immersion in the traditional Indian culture.

So, you can see that Yoga, with its immense popularity in both India and Vietnam, is connecting the cultures and peoples of our countries in the modern times in much the same way as Buddhism did two thousand years ago. In fact, Yoga has had a deep-rooted relationship with Buddhism. Since ancient times, Buddhist scholars in India have developed manuals for Yogic and meditative training enabling the practitioners to realize their inner self.

VOV: What are the Embassy’s plans to further promote Yoga in Vietnam?

Ambassador: Our efforts to promote Yoga in Vietnam are not limited to the celebrations of International Day of Yoga. In fact, we are promoting Yoga round the year. Our Swami Vivekananda Culture Centre in Hanoi organizes regular classes for Yoga, which is open for all. We also work closely with the Vietnam Yoga Federation to exchange instruction materials on common Yoga protocols which teaches the correct way of doing Yoga. In our outreach to provinces too, we focus on Yoga’s important role in promoting people-to-people exchanges by organizing practice sessions or lectures and demonstrations about Yoga.

VOV: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for granting us this interview!