The Hague [Netherlands], June 20 (ANI): Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld thanked India for its "gift of yoga" to the world and confirmed that he will be joining the sixth International Yoga Day celebrations being organised by the Embassy of India The Hague, virtually.
"Bijleveld thanked India for the gift of yoga. She also said that the Dutch Armed Forces have been doing yoga for over 15 years. They have over 130 yoga instructors in the Armed Forces," Indian Embassy said here on Friday (local time).
"International Yoga Day will be celebrated in the Netherlands online on June 21 by Embassy of India in The Hague, with participation by representatives of Dutch Army and Police as well as an impressive line-up of Dutch and Indian dignitaries," the Embassy said in an earlier statement.
Besides relaying PM Modi's Yoga Day Message, the Embassy will also show 3D animated images of him doing yoga.
Dutch Army and police will demonstrate their yoga skills during the sixth International Yoga Day celebrations to be commemorated virtually on June 21.
This will be the second time the Dutch Armed Forces will be participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations organised by the Indian Embassy. The Dutch Ministry of Defence has introduced yoga for armed forces to enrich their training program and reduce stress with yoga sessions being held weekly at various barracks.
The Yoga Day programme will be opened by Indian Ambassador Venu Rajamony.
The celebration also includes artistic contributions by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, internationally acclaimed flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, violin maestro L Subramaniam, singers Kavita Krishnamurthy and Vijay Prakash, chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, film stars Raadhika, Sarathkumar and Bhumika Chawla.
Cricketer Suresh Raina, tennis stars Ramesh Krishnan and Rohan Bopanna, yoga guru and artist Bharat Thakur, Olympic ice skater Vishwaraj Jadeja will also participate in the programme.
The programme will include a Kathak recital on 'Ayush' choreographed by Dutch choreographer Leo Spreksel and performed by eminent Kathak dancers Hari and Chetna.
It will also showcase Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, who have made yoga a part of their lives.
Furthermore, there will be a group yoga session of Ambassadors of various countries based in The Hague and yoga/'pranayam' and meditation sessions led by well-known gurus like Swami Jyotirmayaa, Manish Pole, Mark Dowe, Patty Jongemaets and Marcel van de Vis Heil, according to the statement.
The program will be interactive and viewers will be invited to send their yoga videos on this year's Theme of "Yoga at Home, Yoga with Family" with prizes being given for the best entry. Details of a video blogging contest jointly organised by Ministry of Ayush and Indian Council for Cultural Relations will also be publicised.
The online celebrations will commence at 11 am CET on June 21 and will be streamed to over 1,45,000 followers of the Embassy's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels as well as on the websites of the Embassy and Stichting International Yoga Day. This video will be repeated during the day for the convenience of viewers.
In 2018 and 2019, the Embassy organised celebrations in the heart of the capital city Amsterdam at the prestigious Museumplein and Dam Square as a whole day wellness festival that witnessed participation of thousands.
Free yoga lessons are being offered at The Gandhi Centre which is the cultural wing of the Embassy of India in The Hague.
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on December 11, 2014, at the initiative of India, declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
The resolution calls upon governments and people all over the world to observe this day in an appropriate manner and to raise awareness of the benefits of practicing yoga. This is the sixth time the International Day of Yoga is being celebrated in the Netherlands. (ANI)