Anupam UN

Actor Anupam Kher, right, turned on an animated show of yoga asanas on the glass facade of the United Nations headquarters in New York June 18, as the city prepares for International Yoga Day to be observed here this week. He was accompanied by Syed Akbaruddin, India's Permanent Representative to the UN. (IANS photo)

NEW YORK —Veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher said it was a great honor for him to illuminate the UN building here in preparation for International Day of Yoga June 21.

Kher took to Twitter to thank Syed Akbaruddin, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN.

"Great honour to illuminate the United Nations building, New York in preparation of International Day of Yoga. Thank you Akbaruddin sir," he tweeted.

The 61-year-old actor later shared a string of photographs in front of the building along with Akbaruddin.

"Here are more pictures of 'Illumination of United Nations Heaquarters' in New York. It was great to meet honourable Syed Akbaruddin and other members," he captioned the images.

PTI adds: Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts gathered June 18 at the historic National Mall in Washington, D.C. ahead of the third International Yoga Day to mark the event.

Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna said it was a moving sight to see people turning up in large numbers at the heart of the U.S. capital for the event.

"What has happened in the last three years is quite phenomenal, that this movement of pushing forward and achieving recognition of the 21st of June as the International Day of Yoga, started by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, has brought this ancient discipline, philosophy, and practice from India into the hearts and lives of people in every corner of the globe," he said at the event.

Sarna said the international event is neither a political movement, nor an economic movement.

"This is something which is only for the benefit of all humanity at both an individual level and a macro level, because ultimately all societies in all countries are made up of human beings," he said.

"If we have each human being who has a balanced view on life, who has achieved a kind of equilibrium inside and outside, I think ultimately will go and affect how nations govern and are governed and how they relate to each other," Sarna said.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, in a citation, sent his best wishes for "a joyous observance" of the third International Yoga Day organised by the Indian Embassy here in association with the Friends of Yoga.

Virginia Governor Chris Van Hollen also sent his citation on the occasion in recognition of "the spiritual value that yoga and meditation offer, and with appreciation and gratitude for the organising committee's outstanding efforts to encourage, peace, harmony and consciousness.”

Extending warm greetings to all who are gathered on the occasion, Senator Mark Warner, in his message, said the event provides an opportunity to celebrate one of the many important traditions of the Indian culture, yoga.

"The appeal of this ancient, holistic tradition crosses cultural boundaries and increases international understanding and friendship. I hope all of the attendees enjoy taking part in today's activities," said Warner, a Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus.

Warner said he remains very optimistic about Indo-U.S. relationship, and continues to believe that they can make great strides together.

"As two of the world's largest democracies, and with the incredible Indian American population that contributes so much to our culture, commerce and community in this country, it is critical for us to continue to deepen and broaden the existing framework of partnership and friendship.

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