Washington, November 5
US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have sent Diwali greetings to the people across the world, saying the festival of lights, amidst the pandemic, carries a deeper meaning and reminds everyone that from darkness there is knowledge, wisdom and truth.
The President posted on Twitter a picture of him, along with First Lady Jill Biden, lighting diyas (earthen lamps) at the White House.
“May the light of Diwali remind us that from darkness there is knowledge, wisdom, and truth. From division, unity. From despair, hope. To Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists celebrating in America and around the world — from the People's House to yours, happy Diwali,” he said in a tweet on Thursday.
In a joint statement, President Biden and First Lady Jill said in the wake of the Covid pandemic, this year's Diwali carries even a deeper meaning.
“It is our honour to be the first president and first lady to light a diya together in the White House to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights that is observed by more than one billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists in the United States, India, and around the world,” they said.
"Like many cherished holidays during the pandemic, we know this year's Diwali carries an even deeper meaning. To those who have lost loved ones, we hope this sacred time provides comfort and purpose in their memory,” they said in the joint statement.
President Biden and Jill said they were grateful to those who celebrate in America for making the traditions of Diwali part of America's story.
"For generations, you have opened your homes and hearts during Diwali to exchange gifts and sweets, host feasts with family and friends, and organise cultural programmes in our communities – with prayers and dances, vibrant and colorful art, and sparklers and fireworks – that bring us all together.
“May the spirit of Diwali remind us that out of darkness there is light in knowledge, wisdom, and truth. From division, there is unity in common bonds of empathy and compassion. From isolation, there is community in the connections we share as we look out for one another and hope, dream, and believe in possibilities,” the statement said.
"That spirit is what we reflected upon in the simple act of lighting a diya, a small candle that carries such profound meaning. From the People's House to yours, may the light shine within us all as a powerful source of healing, repair, and renewal – a light that shines on who we are and what we can be at our best as a people and a nation. On behalf of our family, we wish you a happy Diwali,” they said.
Vice President Harris, in a video message on Thursday, wished a joyous Diwali to all Americans and people across the world celebrating the festival of lights, noting that this year, it carries a deeper meaning in the wake of the devastating Covid pandemic.
"I want to extend my warmest wishes for a happy Diwali to everyone celebrating the festival of lights here in the United States and around the world. This year Diwali arrives with even deeper meaning in the midst of a devastating pandemic," Harris said in a video message.
"The holiday reminds us of our nation's most sacred values, our gratitude for the love of family and friends, our responsibility to lend a hand to those in need and our strength to choose light over darkness, to seek knowledge and wisdom and to be a source of goodness and grace.
"Let's remember to honour the light within one another. From our family to yours, I wish you a joyous Diwali," Harris added.
Diwali or Deepavali is a five-day festival that marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. PTI
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