The Indian cultural center in Tel Aviv hosted a curtain raiser event on Wednesday evening in preparation for the ninth annual International Day of Yoga, scheduled for next Wednesday, June 21.
The day was proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 during his address to the United Nations, in which he called on all countries to celebrate yoga’s impact on the world. His call was unanimously accepted by the countries of the world, including Israel. The June day was selected as it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere every year.
Yoga is an ancient Indian mind and body practice that has gained immense popularity across the world, and in Israel in particular. As such, there are a number of yoga studios and nature retreats across the country enjoyed by Israelis and tourists alike.
The cultural center is an extension of the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv through the Indian Foreign Ministry, and it hosts a number of Indian cultural-related events. This includes free yoga classes led in the morning and evening by a master yoga instructor from India. They also have events featuring classical Indian music, food, dances and literature.
The center’s director, Vinod Pawar, spoke of the cultural center’s goal of increasing awareness of Indian culture and promoting tourism to the country. He noted the impact yoga on the mental health of people around the world, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The international yoga day event this year will take place at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa in southern Tel Aviv. Last year’s event at Tel Aviv’s Tachana Park saw hundreds participate. The event is free and will be hosted of this year by Israeli actress Liraz Charhi. The yoga day event will have a group yoga session and musical performances.
The curtain raiser event featured a short yoga session and a demonstration by the center’s yoga master. There was also a musical presentation and Indian food.
Ties remain strong between India and Israel
Israel and India have a special relationship thanks to the fact that both countries were born after years of British colonial rule, and India is also celebrating its 75th year of independence. There are roughly 85,000 Indian Jews living in Israel today, and the two countries last year celebrated 30 years of formal relations.
Current relations are extremely strong, both within the government and in the private sector through business and innovation collaborations. Commerce between the countries was nearly $8 billion last year, dealing in commercial and software tech, and Israeli defense firms are India’s second largest supplier, quickly moving to the top spot.