New Delhi: Just a day after the United Nations celebrated Diwali by lighting its HQ building, US President Barack Obama on Monday celebrated Diwali in the United States by lighting up the first-ever diya inside the Oval Office.
In a Facebook post shared to millions of his followers, Obama congratulated the Indian-Americans on the occasion with a picture of him lighting up the diya with Indian-American representatives alongside him.
“I was proud to be the first President to host a Diwali celebration at the White House in 2009, and Michelle and I will never forget how the people of India welcomed us with open arms and hearts and danced with us in Mumbai on Diwali,” the US president said.
“To all who are celebrating the festival of lights across America and around the world, happy Diwali. As Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists light the diya, share in prayers, decorate their homes, and open their doors to host and feast with loved ones, we recognise that this holiday rejoices in the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance,” said Obama.
US Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton also took to social media to wish the people of India a very happy Diwali.
“On Sunday, nearly a billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists around the world — including more than two million Americans — will celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. For members of these faiths, lighting the lamp (the diya) is a reminder that light prevails over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil,” Clinton said. “Here in the United States, it is a tribute to the Indian American community that Diwali is celebrated with such beauty and joy. Regardless of our personal faith, Diwali reminds us that diversity is one of our greatest strengths as a nation, that light prevails over darkness, and that dharma — righteousness or goodness — must guide us toward a better tomorrow,” she said.