Prior to the 9th International Day of Yoga, the 2023 International Yoga Day & China (Kunming) South Asian Culture and Art Week, parts of the China-India Cultural Exchange Events, were held in Kunming, southwestern China’s Yunnan Province, on June 20, 2023.
Themed on “Openness, Integration, Innovation and Development,” the events aim to strengthen cultural exchange between China and India, enhance people-to-people exchange and mutual learning between Yunnan Province and South Asian countries, and further accelerate the construction of Yunnan as a gateway to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
During the opening ceremony, Ruan Chaoqi, secretary of the CPC Committee of Yunnan Minzu University (YMU), said in his welcome speech that the India-China Yoga College at YMU has established an innovative bridge and a new bond for non-governmental diplomatic exchanges between China and India. It has played an irreplaceable role in promoting people-to-people ties, advancing the localization of yoga in China and serving the implementation of the “Healthy China” initiative. The college has led the localization of yoga in China and created a beautiful business card for cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and India.
Ni Huifang, vice president of China Education Association for International Exchange and president of Yunnan Education Association for International Exchange, noted that China and India are two neighboring ancient civilizations. She added that we should get strength from the ancient civilizations and share the Eastern wisdoms with the world, and expressed hopes that China-India exchange and cooperation in education and culture will help reduce the “understanding gap” between the two countries, enhance people-to-people exchanges, and promote harmonious and stable development of bilateral relations.
Ma Zuoxin, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, said that China’s Tai Chi and India’s yoga are both traditional national treasures, and they carry spiritual connotations of calmness, gentleness, inclusivity, and self-motivation, indicating the common cultural origins of the two countries.
Yu Jia, deputy editor-in-chief of China International Communication Group (CICG) Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications), expressed hopes that the events will further improve cultural exchange and cooperation between China and India, expand the communication and cooperation network of the two civilizations, improve mutual understanding between the two peoples, and facilitate healthy and stable development of bilateral relations. CICG Center for Europe and Asia stands ready to continue working with YMU and other universities in Yunnan, as well as media organizations and think tanks in the province, to make greater contributions to cultural exchange and mutual learning among China, India, and other South Asian countries.
Himadrish Suwan, chairman of the Confederation of Young Leaders, emphasized in his speech that the rise of China and India will have a far-reaching impact on the world. He noted that we should seek wisdom from thousands of years of our two civilizations to explore a way for major emerging and neighboring countries to get along with each other in the direction of “enhancing mutual trust, focusing on cooperation, managing differences and seeking common development.” He also said that we need to inherit and carry forward the spirit of inclusiveness, mutual respect, and equality, promote local exchanges, and foster closer people-to-people ties to strengthen popular support for the long-term development of China-India relations.
During the ceremony, YMU and CICG Center for Europe and Asia signed a framework agreement on strengthening cooperation in the fields of Tai Chi and yoga culture promotion and enhancing friendship between the two countries.
The ceremony was followed by wonderful Tai Chi and yoga performances by more than 100 students and teachers from YMU.
On the afternoon of the same day, more than 30 experts and scholars from China and abroad attended the main forum and two parallel sub-forums on China-India cultural exchange. At the sub-forums, they exchanged views on the topics of “New Opportunities for Industry-Education Integration between a Healthy China, and Tai Chi & Yoga” and “New Paths for the Inheritance and Mutual Learning of Traditional Chinese and Indian Culture.”
The events were jointly hosted by Yunnan Provincial Department of Education, Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, Yunnan Province Sport Bureau, Yunnan International Communication Center for South and Southeast Asia, Yunnan Minzu University, and Publicity Department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee, CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications), and Yunnan Education Association for International Exchange.