After two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended a Diwali event in person on Wednesday.
Visitors from the diplomatic, religious, business, and civil society sectors attended this event, which came after the White House’s largest Diwali celebration on Monday.
In his remarks at a Diwali reception, Blinken remarked, “Simply to you: it’s an honour – a pleasure to have you at the State Department for this first in-person Diwali since before the epidemic.”
He further added “Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists have decked their homes with rungolee over the previous three days. They have also exchanged sweets, performed pooja to express gratitude, and ignited sparklers. People have congregated to participate in the basic joy of being with friends and family all over the world, from the streets of New Delhi to the parks of Kuala Lumpur to just down the block at the White House.”
Blinken said “Diplomats and representatives of civil society who were in attendance at the reception were playing a crucial role in fostering relationships between the US and local communities overseas and by pressing us to do more to defend religious freedom across the world.”
A number of Indian Americans from the Biden administration attended the largest Diwali event ever held at the White House on Monday.