Thin crowd at India’s Beijing embassy for Yoga Day | India News

NEW DELHI: International Yoga Day is usually a grand affair in Beijing. The Indian embassy invites about 500 people each year, across nationalities, to India House. This time, they asked yoga instructor Ashish Bahuguna to lead the special 40-minute session. With Covid norms in mind, they thought of inviting 200 guests for Sunday’s event. But the list was eventually cut to just 90.
“It was mostly Indians working at the Embassy and some diplomats from other embassies,” Bahuguna told


. The 35-year-old from Rishikesh has been in China for 13 years, running a private yoga studio. This is the first time he had been invited to hold the Yoga Day session. “The celebrations are usually big, with collaborations with several studios in Beijing.”
But Bahuguna is convinced the low turnout has nothing to do with the military standoff at the Galwan Valley. “I have not faced any boycott. Two weeks ago, a market in Beijing became an epicentre of many new cases. So there is some apprehension about gatherings,” he said. Indian ambassador Vikram Misri, who attended the event, thought the same.
“Even with the challenges ahead of us, we had thought of an event on a relatively large scale. But with the recent outbreak, we had to scale things down,” he said.

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