Obama lights diya to celebrate Diwali at White HouseOctober 29th, 2011 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) Highlighting the universal message of Diwali of “victory of light over darkness, hope over despair”, US President Barack Obama lit a traditional diya to celebrate Diwali with Indian-Americans at a reception at the White House complex.
“Diwali is a special holiday for millions across the country”, said Obama, who became the first US president to join Diwali celebrations at the White House in 2009.
“Michelle and I greatly enjoyed the occasion and the celebration in India last year,” he said, recalling the Diwali festivities in Mumbai the first couple had joined during the president’s first visit to India in November 2010.
“Diwali is the time to celebrate victory of light over darkness, hope over despair. Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists consider the day sacred. The message of this day is truly universal,” Obama said at the closed press event Friday.
Obama acknowledged the contributions of the Indian-American community in every field in the country, from New York taxi drivers to the teenager who won the Google science fair this year.
Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, US Ambassador to Belize Vinai Thummalapally, president of the Centre for American Progress Neera Tanden, Hindu chaplain Pratima Dhar and a Sikh delegation from the Golden Temple were among some 200 attendees.
On Diwali day in 2009, Obama established the President’s Advisory Committee on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, headed by Kiran Ahuja, who he said was doing outstanding work.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Indian American to head US think-tank - Oct 26, 2011
- Obama wishes Indians 'Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak' - Oct 27, 2011
- White House celebrates Guru Nanak's birth anniversary (Lead) - Nov 20, 2010
- Obama extends Diwali greetings, looking forward to India visit - Nov 04, 2010
- Obama names Indian American as envoy to Belize - Jun 12, 2009
- Obama campaign reaches out to Indian Americans (Lead) - Feb 24, 2012
- Obama brings Diwali celebrations to the White House - Oct 15, 2009
- US Senate greets Indian diaspora on Diwali - Oct 26, 2011
- Obama greets Sikhs, says all can draw inspiration from Guru Nanak - Nov 11, 2011
- President Obama greets people on Diwali - Nov 05, 2010
- Obama's India visit reflects spirit of Diwali: Hillary - Nov 05, 2010
- Happy Diwali, says Obama at White House event (Lead) - Oct 15, 2009
- Hindus welcome "Happy Diwali" wish of White House - Nov 05, 2010
- Pics show third White House crasher did attend Manmohan dinner - Jan 08, 2010
- Tulsi Gabbard set to become first Hindu in US Congress - Aug 13, 2012
Tags: ahuja, arun kumar, barack obama, centre for american progress, dhar, diwali, diwali celebrations, golden temple, google, indian ambassador, jains, new york taxi, nirupama rao, pacific islanders, pratima, taxi drivers, universal message, usaid administrator, victory of light, white house washington