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Michelle Obama to lead Diwali celebrations in White House

Washington, Nov 1, 2013, (PTI) 10:32 IST
US First Lady Michelle Obama would lead this year's Diwali celebrations the White House, which is expected to be attended by lawmakers, senior administration officials and eminent Indian Americans. AP Photo.
US First Lady Michelle Obama would lead this year's Diwali celebrations the White House, which is expected to be attended by lawmakers, senior administration officials and eminent Indian Americans.

"The First Lady will provide remarks at the White House Diwali celebration," the White House announced today. A media advisory said the festival of lights would be observed on November 5.

Meanwhile, US Senators John Cornyn and Mark R Warner, co-chairs of Senate's bipartisan India Caucus, announced that they would introduced a bipartisan resolution in the Congress to recognise the religious and historical significance of Diwali.

The resolution honours an important tradition of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains in the flourishing Indian-American community in the US as well as those of our partners in India, they said.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama, in a message, greeted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists in the US, India and across the globe on the occasion of Diwali, saying the flame of the diya reminds that light will ultimately triumph over darkness.

"The flame of the diya, or lamp, reminds us that light will ultimately triumph over darkness," Obama said in his Diwali message.

"Here in the US, Diwali also reminds us that our nation is home to many faiths and traditions, and that our diversity makes us stronger, which I why I'm proud that this year Democrats and Republicans in Congress joined together for the first-ever celebration of Diwali on Capitol Hill," Obama said.

Obama was referring to the first ever Diwali celebrations at the Capitol Hill early this week.

"Over the last five years, Michelle and I have been honoured to have the chance to observe this ancient holiday, both at the White House and in India, and we wish all those celebrating this weekend a Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak," Obama said.

In the message, the US President said for the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights, reaffirms the things that matter most in life.

"Dancing, celebration, and good food remind us that life's greatest joys are the simple pleasures that come from spending time with people we love. Contemplation and prayer remind us that that people of all faiths have an obligation to perform seva, or service to others," Obama said.

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