By Himani Bhatt
On June 19, 2022, The High Commission of India, Dar es Salaam marked the 8th International Day of Yoga (IDY) at Uhuru stadium in the . The Deputy Minister for Culture, Arts, and Sports, H.E. Pauline Gekul, was the keynote speaker at the occasion themed "Yoga for Humanity." Furthermore, over 3000 yoga supporters from different lines of work (comprising 2000 Tanzanian school kids) joined the event to support the Yogic discipline.
While addressing the occasion, Gekul lauded the High commission for conducting IDY in Tanzania since 2015 and requested its continuation to soar Yoga's prevalence in the country. Afterward, adult citizens and school children engaged in the combined yoga practice. The event was scheduled to begin at 7 a.m., where people meditated and performed different asanas with extensive involvement and eagerness. The arrangement of the Yoga session at such a large scale displayed an awe-inspiring and breathtaking view.
The official Twitter account of the Indian High Commission in Tanzania stated, "Yoga is a holistic approach to health and well-being, balancing our mind, body, and soul. So on this day, let's pledge to make Yoga a part of our daily lives." Tanzania also observed such celebrations in Arusha, Tabora, Mwanza, Iringa, and Lindi on the same day and in other districts over the next few days. These events coincided with the commemorations of India's 75 years of Independence as "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav."
Yoga Day Festivities Across Tanzania
Indian High Commission has been conducting Yoga awareness workshops, reach-out programs, and classes in Tanzania via its cultural wing Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center. In addition, the Indian Embassy provided bus pickup services for designated spots to encourage more and more participation in the IDY event at Uhuru Stadium. At the IDY celebrations in Arusha, District Commissioner H.E. Mr. Said Mtanda was the special guest, and numerous yoga supporters participated in the event. In Tabora, children and grown-ups also engaged in yoga sessions at Shree Hindu Mandal Temple.
Tanzania and India have always shared conventionally friendly, cooperative, and close relationships. Since 2015, Tanzania has celebrated the IDY with the massive participation of adult citizens and school kids. The Indian origin population in Tanzania is , including mainly Hindus and Muslims from Gujarat (all business owners) with a significant number of Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus.
Moreover, there are 10,000 Indian expatriates, predominantly professionals employed at senior leadership designations in domestic and Indian invested firms.
Several People of Indian Origin (PIO) also work as technical executives on shop floor jobs, mainly from Gujarat, South Indian states, West Bengal, and Maharashtra. Over the years, business ambassadors' periodic visits to both sides to attain maximum collaboration and economic opportunities.
Promoting the Yogic Discipline
PIO and other Indian settlers have a significant role in fostering the relationship between Tanzania and India. Under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Indian Cultural Center (ICC), Dar es Salaam, was established in December 2010 to synchronize the cultural outreach. It organizes classes for Yoga, Hindi language, and musical instruments like tabla by Indian teachers. Also, perform in several towns and arrange Yoga and AYUSH interactions.
The Asian/Indian community organizations frequently conduct, usually with domestic engagement and sometimes by inviting artists from India. There are also various Indian organizations and associations, along with many Gurdwaras and Hindu temples. Though belonging to distinct continents, both nations have been neighbors through the Indian Ocean. Recently, India-Tanzania alliances have nurtured into a dynamic relationship with impressive political understanding, modified commercial interaction, and development partnership in large-scale projects.