The Yoga Day event led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday created a Guinness World Record for seeing the participation of most nationalities in a Yoga session.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Yoga celebration at the UN headquarters here on Wednesday created a Guinness World Record for the participation of people of most nationalities.
Modi, who is currently embarking on his inaugural state visit to the United States, received a special invitation from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. As part of this momentous occasion, Modi led a remarkable ceremony at the UN Headquarters, commemorating the 9th International Day of Yoga. The event drew the presence of esteemed UN officials, diplomats, and notable individuals. Expressing his delight, Modi addressed the gathering, expressing gratitude for their attendance and remarking on the diverse representation of almost every nationality in the room.
The event commemorated the International Day of Yoga, a yearly observance established in 2014 through the efforts of Modi, who convinced the U.N. to designate it. This year’s edition achieved a remarkable feat by setting a Guinness World Record on the spot. With 135 nationalities participating in a yoga lesson, the announcement was met with great enthusiasm. Several notable figures attended, including actor Richard Gere, New York Mayor Eric Adams, U.N. General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi, and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. Secretary-General António Guterres, currently attending a conference in Paris, sent a video greeting in his absence.
8 years after the launch of his initiative on International Day of Yoga, PM @narendramodi has himself led the Yoga Day at @UN in New York this morning.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) June 21, 2023
This will inspire so many more to join the collective endeavor for wellness and a healthy way of living.… https://t.co/RVQS11wMpS
Despite the serene atmosphere within, the chants of demonstrators across the street from the U.N. gates could be faintly heard during the meditative utterances of “Om.” Approximately 200 supporters of Modi and 50 critics gathered separately, kept apart by barriers and closely monitored by the New York police.
The pro-Modi group eagerly greeted him and held signs displaying messages like “America Welcomes Narendra Modi” and “United We Stand,” accompanied by an image of the U.S. flag. On the other hand, Modi’s opponents shouted, “Modi, go back!” and waved large yellow flags representing Khalistan, the proposed homeland sought by Sikh separatists in India.
Modi arrived in New York on Tuesday for a trip that provides ample opportunity to address global tensions. However, commencing the visit by emphasizing an ancient pursuit of inner tranquility is a shrewd and symbolic choice for the prime minister. He has not only made yoga a personal practice but also utilized it as a diplomatic tool.