The Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly, László Kövér, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Péter Cseresnyés and Members of Parliament participated in the first event, which took place in the Széll Kálmán Hall.

The celebrations started with the paying of a floral tribute to Gandhi’s bust by Kövér, Indian Ambassador Rahul Chhabra and other dignitaries. A video of the Gujarati Bhajan "Vaishnav Jan toh" sung by Maga Jennifer, a prominent singer of Hungary, was publicly released.

Ambassador Chhabra greeted Speaker Kövér with a Kashmiri shawl and presented him with a replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s charkha, or spinning wheel, the symbol of Gandhi’s non-violent philosophy. Commemorative stamps on Gandhi were released at the event.

# Gandhi spinning yarn

The ambassador reiterated the relevance of Gandhi’s principles of truth and non-violence in today’s world. Kövér paid glowing tribute to the Indian activist who led the Indian independence movement against British rule, resulting in independence in 1947, and the Speaker exhorted Hungarians and other world leaders to follow these values. He specifically mentioned the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Indo-Hungarian diplomatic relations in Budapest in November this year and said this would be a milestone in Indo-Hungarian relations.

The celebration was followed by a special Chair Yoga session for the MPs by the yoga teacher of the embassy, which was well attended. The session included simple yet effective yogic techniques to help the parliamentarians manage their busy schedules. Yoga mats, yoga T-shirts and books on Gandhi were presented to the dignitaries.

A photographic exhibition comprising 32 photographs of the Father of the Indian Nation was also mounted in the Parliament. In the evening, after dark fell, the LED projection lit up the Royal Palace with the Indian tricolour.

Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869, and the day is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.

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