Uganda Marks International Yoga Day at the Kololo Airstrip

Uganda held yoga sessions at numerous locations across Kampala to commemorate the 8th edition of the International Yoga Day from June 11-June 20
Participants in the yoga session held at Kololo Airstrip, Kampala
Participants in the yoga session held at Kololo Airstrip, KampalaIndian Embassy in Uganda
Participants in the yoga session held at Kololo Airstrip, Kampala
Participants in the yoga session held at Kololo Airstrip, KampalaIndian Embassy in Uganda

By Himani Bhatt

The Indian Embassy in Uganda observed the International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 20 with about 2000 persons at Kampala Airport, generally called Kololo Airstrip. Held in collaboration with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, the 8th edition of IDY was themed “Yoga for Humanity” and began with a lamp lighting ceremony. Moreover, the Minister of State for Trade Industry, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi was the keynote speaker at the function and thanked the Indian organization for IDY in her speech. Mentioning how lack of exercise and leisure is leading to non-relaxation, she asserted the unquestionable importance of Yoga.

To clarify, the Indian High Commissioner in Uganda, H.E. Ajay Kumar, greeted the assembly and underlined Yoga’s pertinence for the welfare and fitness of individuals and society. He said, “We want the world to be peaceful, and we want the world to be sustainable. The only way to do that is to train humans to live in harmony with themselves and the external environment,”. Subsequently, participants keenly engaged in the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) presentation.

The Chairman of the Indian Association, a central institute of the Indian diaspora, Mohan Rao, also expressed the real significance of Yogic discipline. Highlighting the relevance of unifying body and mind, he mentioned how Yoga plays a significant role in an individual’s well-being.”

Even an overcast sky or rain could not hinder the Yoga practice as all participants continued with pure enthusiasm and zeal. Later, the Indian Embassy acknowledged their contribution on its Twitter account. It read, “We thank our partners and everyone who joined us for making the celebration a success.”

The Indians and Indian Culture In Uganda

As a countdown to the IDY observed globally on June 21, Indian Embassy partnered with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh to arrange yoga sessions at several locations throughout Kampala. It began with the curtain raiser event on June 11 at India House.

Similarly, Naguru Katali Primary School witnessed a stupendous yoga session on June 15.

Moreover, the High Commissioner and HSS officials attended the event to instill Yoga’s significance in young minds. It also organized another event on June 13 at Uganda Youth Aid Nursery and Primary School.

The relationship of India with Uganda has strengthened in spheres like defense, political, commercial, economic, education, cultural, tourism, and health through the years. However, to clarify, the community of over 27000 People of Indian Origin (PIO) exhibits the most substantial and influential cultural and financial connections with Uganda.

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) statistics report that Indian Nationals account for the top 65% of taxpayers regionally and contribute nearly 60% of the overall revenue collection. Also, the bilateral trade of almost US $1.3 billion indicates a constant increase in Indian investments, thus, making it one of the top-notch investors in Uganda. (As of 2016)

A Mutually Respectful Alliance of Two Countries

The profound and common regard for universal virtues like harmony and democracy reinstate the framework of India-Uganda synergistic collaboration. Besides robust cultural partnerships, both countries also share a developmental association regarding health care and education, defense cooperation, and commercial and economic relations. Precisely put, Uganda and India closely associate at global and regional forums. During the last decade, the Nonresident Indians (NRIs) and PIOs have invested approximately more than US$1 billion in Uganda and employed thousands of locals.

The Indian populace in Uganda performs all Indian festivities with unparalleled passion and grandeur. They also celebrate India Day, an annual ethnic exhibition involving performances by prominent Indian musicians like Sunidhi Chauhan. But, most importantly, Uganda is the only nation in the African continent to celebrate Diwali inside the State House.

The NRI Nation