The Hague: Dutch Army members are set to participate in the Netherlands’ largest-ever celebration of International Yoga Day at the Dam Square on June 16.
The celebrations are being organized by the Embassy of India in the Netherlands in association with yoga enthusiasts of the country.
“It will be a whole day wellness festival with group yoga demonstrations, meditation sessions, music, dance, and vegetarian as well as vegan food,” a statement issued by the embassy said.
The representatives of the Dutch armed forces will participate in the traditional yoga session, which will kick-start the celebrations.
The Dutch Ministry of Defence had introduced yoga exercises for their armed forces to enrich their training program and reduce stress. Yoga is taught weekly at various barracks and yoga instructors have been recruited to strengthen the physical and mental fitness of soldiers.
“A unique addition to the program this year will be the promotion of Indian handicrafts with five national award-winning master artisans from India showcasing their work throughout the day,” the embassy added.
The largest-ever celebrations will see yoga demonstrations interspersed with cultural programs of Indian dance and music on June 16. Well-known Dutch yoga teacher, Johan Noorloos of The New Yoga School, Amsterdam will conduct a workshop followed by Sahaja Yoga Meditation by Sander Notenbaert and group, and Yin Yoga by Anita Smith.
Djahan Manuela Mazhari Perez will perform a combination of South Indian martial art “Kalaripayattu” with dance and music as part of the celebrations. Simultaneously, workshops on therapeutic yoga, sun salutation competition, and yoga pose challenge, amongst other things will be held in a separate “Yoga Hut.”
Food trucks providing vegetarian and vegan food as well as vegan ice cream will cater to visitors throughout the day. The outlets participating include Memories of India, Indian Express, Saravana Bhavan, Ekta’s Khatta Metha, Professor Grunschnabel.
The grand finale of the day will be “Soul Shanti” concert featuring “BMI Goes India” – a unique combination of classical sitar and modern electronic dance music. The concert will also feature popular Bollywood DJ Don and will be supported by local musicians from Team Madras Chorus.
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. The resolution also points out that global health is a long term development objective.
This is the fifth time that the International Yoga Day is being celebrated in the Netherlands. Last year, it was held at Museumplein, Amsterdam.