Global Peace Foundation (GPF) India commemorated International Yoga Day and World Music Day on June 21, 2023, with an event aimed at promoting value-based peacebuilding and emphasizing the profound connection between yoga, music, and fostering peace.
A program officer for GPF India explained that the practice of yoga encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions contributing to inner harmony and serenity. With origins rooted in ancient India, yoga is practiced and promoted by the government, citizens, and diaspora as a source of peace. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi extensively promoted yoga as the cultural heritage of India at the United Nations several times and led its celebration. Through its philosophies and teachings, yoga cultivates a sense of unity and interconnectedness, emphasizing the harmony between the individual and the universe. Music, a performative art, bridges cultural divides, fosters understanding, and promotes peaceful coexistence. It serves as a platform for cultural exchange, showcasing the richness and diversity of different traditions. India is a country rich in diversity. Music has become a significant method since ancient times in promoting empathy, compassion, and dialogue, encouraging individuals to embrace diversity and work towards peaceful resolutions.
Volunteers and youth practiced yoga together under the instruction of Ms. Akanksha Sharma, who trained the participants in the Suryanamaskaram, Dhanursana, Ardhmatsyendasan, Trikonasana, Baddha Konasana, Paschimottanasana, Setu Bandhasana, Balasana, Naukasana, Virabhadrasana, and several other Yoga Asanas. Ms. Sharma mentioned yoga was a source of intaking all positive virtues and exhaling all the negative emotions that one holds.
Program Coordinator of GPF India, Poojita Goswami, gave welcoming remarks saying, “Value-based peacebuilding inculcates interrelating of the inner, social, and cosmic peace, promoting a stable society.”
He went on to say, “Youth [are] the source that can help to promote the significance of peacebuilding among the older and younger generation by becoming a string of connectivity. Practices like yoga and music not only promote inner and outer peace but also a healthy and happy lifestyle.”
Tarun Kumar, an intern at GPF India, stated that music has always played a significant role in bringing people together, and that is why advancing such values in youth is necessary in promoting harmony. Kumar mentioned that while working in the field, music becomes a significant aspect of connecting with the local community and can be actively used as a tool for peacebuilding.
The event ended with musical performances of various folk and cultural songs from different regions of India and an opportunity for participants to discuss music as a source of advancing unity in diversity and its significance in stimulating a cohesive environment.
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