Diwali set to become official in US

via http://www.ibnlive.com/news/diwali-sets-to-become-official-in-us/top/37417-2.html?xml published on April 1, 2007

New Delhi: It’s no more just spicy Indian treats, cultural shows and a colorful street fair in down town New York, but the US House of Representatives is considering to give the festival of light an official recognition.

And moving towards this, a resolution recognising the significance of Diwali has been moved in the US House of Representatives.

“As millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains have migrated to the United States over the years, it is important their cultural traditions be respected by their fellow countrymen,” as quoted by PTI, Congressman Addison Wilson said in a statement after introducing the resolution.

The resolution, which also requests the US President to issue a proclamation recognising Diwali, “represents Congress’ commitment to Americans of South Asian heritage and recognizes their contribution to the United States,” he said.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has welcomed the introduction of the resolution.

“Celebrants of Diwali believe that the rows of lamps symbolise the light within the individual that rids the soul of the darkness of ignorance and is a celebration of the victory of good over evil,” the resolution says.

In a statement released to the Hindu American Foundation, Congressman McDermott said, “America is a great melting pot of cultures, but one of the strengths of our nation is respecting and preserving the traditions unique to our ethnicities, and that’s why I want Congress to officially recognise the festival of Diwali.”

Asserting that recognising Diwali will enable understanding of the religious and cultural background of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, McDermott added, “Understanding one another is essential to living in peace, here at home, and around the world.”

Indians in US celebrate the festival every year and New York politicians and the Indian consul general were among those who turned up to wish the crowd during the last Diwali celebration held in New York.

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