On 20 June 2023, International Yoga Day and China South Asian Culture and Art Week, which are part of the China-India cultural exchange events, were held in China's Southwest Yunnan Province, Kunming.
The events, with the theme 'Openness, Integration, Innovation and Development', aim to strengthen cultural exchange between China and India, increase people-to-people contact and mutual learning between Yunnan Province and South Asian nations, and promote the development of Yunnan as a gateway to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
During the opening ceremony, Ruan Chaoqi, secretary of the Yunnan Minzu University (YMU), said 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. The college localises yoga in China and serves the "Healthy China" initiative. It also serves as a business card for cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and India.
Importance Of Gaining Strength From Ancient Civilisations
Ni Huifang, vice president of the China Education Association for International Exchange and president of the Yunnan Education Association for International Exchange, noted that China and India are two neighbouring ancient civilisations.
She emphasised the importance of gaining strength from ancient civilisations and sharing Eastern wisdom. She hoped that China-India exchanges in education and culture would reduce the understanding gap, enhance people-to-people exchanges, and promote harmonious 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.
Facilitating Healthy & Stable Development Of Bilateral Relations
Yu Jia, deputy editor-in-chief of the China International Communication Group (CICG) Centre 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 civilisations, improve mutual understanding, and facilitate the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
The CICG Centre for Europe and Asia stands ready to continue working with YMU and other universities in Yunnan, as well as media organisations 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, emphasised 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 civilisations to explore a way for major emerging and neighbouring countries to get along with each other in the direction of "enhancing mutual trust, focusing on cooperation, managing differences, and seeking common development."
He stressed on the importance of promoting inclusiveness, mutual respect, and equality, fostering local exchanges, and fostering closer people-to-people ties to strengthen popular support for China-India relations' long-term development.
Yoga Performance By More Than 100 Students & Teachers
During the ceremony, YMU and the CICG Centre 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 Centre for South and Southeast Asia, Yunnan Minzu University, and Publicity Department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee, CICG Centre for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications), and Yunnan Education Association for International Exchange.
(This content is provided by Beijing-based China Pictorial.)