In a bid to mark th 9th anniversary of International Yoga Day, G20 delegates from several countries on Wednesday performed yoga 'asanas' on the premises of the Raj Bhavan in Goa to mark the International Day of Yoga.
Who all attended the event?
The G20 delegates were joined by Goa Governor PS Shreedharan Pillai, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt in performing the 'asanas', hours before the scheduled G20 Tourism Ministerial Meeting here.
The delegates from Australia, Germany, Italy and South Korea, as well as several tourism ministry officials were seen wearing matching t-shirts bearing the G20 logo, 'GOA' and 'Yoga for Harmony & Peace' while performing some common yoga protocols.
South Korean Ambassador to India Chang Jae-bok, whose dance moves to the Oscar-winning song "Naatu Naatu" had recently gone viral, also took part in the celebrations at the Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan campus.
About 130 delegates have gathered in the Goan capital for the fourth and final G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting that ended on Tuesday. It will be followed by the G20 Ministerial Meeting from June 21-22.
What did the governor and ministers say?
Pillai and Bhatt also made short addresses to the delegates before the session.
In line with the ethos of the G20, 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' -- 'One Earth. One Family. One Future', yoga is not just for India, it is for the entire world, and it has gained "vast popularity" globally, Pillai said.
Bhatt extolled the benefits of yoga and the importance of the day, saying, "Yoga gave new life to many during the pandemic."
Response from the G20 delegates
Many delegates called it a delightful coincidence that the day coincided with the G20 events, being held under India's presidency of the bloc.
"It is fortuitous that Yoga Day and the G20 tourism track events being held in Goa have coincided. India took the lead in the UN (United Nations) in having June 21 recognised as the International Day of Yoga and it feels wonderful to be here in this beautiful state and taking part in the celebrations," an Australian delegate told PTI.
Dieter Janecek, head of the German delegation to the G20 meetings here, said yoga is popular in Germany too and it can help further cooperation between the two countries.
In Goa, many G20 delegates shared that they performed yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the periods of lockdown.
"This is the main International Yoga Day event of the government, being hosted in Goa by the Ministry of Tourism. The delegates will get to experience this ancient ethos of India -- yoga -- and it is only fitting that the International Yoga Day has coincided with the G20 meetings in Goa," a senior tourism ministry official had earlier said.