To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent” in today’s high-stress living environment, India’s prescription is sacred “Yoga” while China has long prescribed to the intangible cultural heritage of “Taiji” (or Tai Chi).
The rich cultural influences of the two countries have made outstanding contributions to the world. They also reveal striking similarities in the fields of cultural forms and philosophical thinking. China has developed its unique Taiji culture, while India relies on longstanding Yoga culture. Although following different practices, these two age-old pearls of Oriental civilisation have been making life beautiful since ancient times.
After its inception in 2015, the IYD is celebrated in a big way with thousands participating in mass Yoga events from the glass bridge in south China’s Shuanglonggou forest park in Liuzhou to New York’s iconic Times Square, from the landmark Eiffel Tower in Paris to the European Union Parliament, and from the U.N. headquarters to even at the top of the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge.
It is now being seen as an effective stress-buster, a natural treatment of achieving mind and body fitness in today’s fast-paced environment.
It’s a matter of pride that Yoga fever has gripped China in recent years vying with its own national treasure Taiji. This was evidenced as thousands of Yoga lovers participating in scores of events organised across China to form the second biggest celebrations of the first IYD in the world after India in 2015.
The first yoga college outside India has emerged with collaboration of India and China at Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming, becoming a cultural milestone between the two nations. The university is now offering China’s first Master’s Degree in Yoga, officially approved by the Ministry of Educational in January 2017.
In the third year of IYD in 2017, yoga was performed for the first time atop the Great Wall by a joint Indian and Chinese group of yogis (male practitioners) and yoginis (female).
A Yoga event was organised for the first time at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) headquarters in Beijing on June 17 last year. The official newspaper Global Times reported that Yoga even had entered the public school system in some cities across China. There are currently 10,800 yoga schools across the country.
On the other hand, Taiji has been gaining recognition in all age groups in India for its numerous health benefits. Like Yoga, Taiji with its historical origins in ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism also creates a bond between the body and mind, apart from all the other recognised benefits. At the beginning of 2018, two sub-centres of the China-India Taiji College of Yunnan Minzu University were established in India and have trained about 1,000 Indian teachers.
The practices of Taiji and Yoga may differ, but the two ancient disciplines can deepen Sino-Indian friendship. Undoubtedly, the duet of Taiji, calligraphy, the tea art of China and Yoga, the music, movies and dances of India can contribute to the friendship, economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two great nations.