The Hague: A large number of people, including the representatives of Dutch armed forces, gathered in front of the Royal Palace on the prestigious Dam Square in Amsterdam on Sunday to participate in the largest ever yoga celebrations in the Netherlands.
The event was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur, a statement issued by the Indian Embassy said.
Himachal Industries Minister Bikram Singh, India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Venu Rajamony, cricketer Suresh Raina, Dutch actor, model and photographer Micky Hoogendijk, among others took part in the opening ceremony.
This is the first time the Dam Square is host to a public event related to India.
The Square is the historical centre of Amsterdam with the neoclassical Royal Palace, the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Madame Tussauds Amsterdam and the National Monument erected in 1956 for the victims of World War II.
Special permission for the event was provided by the City of Amsterdam at the request of the Indian Embassy.
Representatives of the Royal Dutch army also joined the celebrations for the first time, it said.
They participated in the group common yoga protocol session and also led the public in a special yoga workshop.
Dutch Ministry of Defense has introduced yoga exercises for armed forces to enrich their training programme and reduce stress.
International Yoga Day was also celebrated across 31 cities in the Netherlands – which included yoga workshops, meditation sessions, and concerts.
International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21 since its inception in 2015. The concept of the Yoga Day was proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) September 27, 2014.