In December 2016, Yoga was added to Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage, recognised for its positive influence on Indian society and the world at large. In a tweet, Unesco said “Designed to help individuals build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation, [yoga] is practised by the young and old without discriminating against gender, class or religion.” Celebrated as “an ancient practice”, yoga gained unanimous support from all 24 member states of the panel, which included Cuba, Turkey, Afghanistan, Korea and Palestine. Yoga’s power to unite such diverse members of the international community speaks volumes about its borderless contribution to world culture.
The Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma described this as “a major triumph for India” after the announcement, which highlighted Yoga’s benefits to diverse fields, ranging from health and medicine, to education and the arts, was recognised by the committee, which originally drew up its list of intangible cultural treasures 10 years ago. It joins other such gems as Cuba’s rumba, Peruvian scissors dance, and Belgium’s beer culture.
Read the full story at The Guardian UK, and at Indian Express.