The White House Hosts Biggest Ever Diwali Reception


US President Joe Biden, First lady Jill Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, and several Indian Americans from the Biden administration attended the largest Diwali reception ever held at the White House on Monday.

“We are honoured to host you. This is the first Diwali reception of this scale in the White House ever to be held. We have more Asian Americans than ever before in history and we want to thank you for making the Diwali celebration a joyous part of American culture,” US President Joe Biden said during a reception to celebrate Diwali at the White House.

Biden commended the Asian American population in the US for making the Diwali celebration a wonderful part of American culture and wished a happy Diwali to the more than one billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists celebrating this Festival of Lights in the US, India, and all around the world.

“As we host the official White House Diwali reception, we are honoured to light the diya surrounded by members of the most diverse Administration in American history–led by Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black American and South Asian American to become Vice President.”

Biden praised the remarkable South Asian community in America for its tenacity, hope, and empathetic nature.

“Together, South Asian Americans reflect the soul of who we are as a nation, whether helping us emerge stronger from this pandemic, building an economy that works for everyone, or serving and protecting our communities and our country.”

As the world celebrates this gathering of light, he said, “as this community has experienced too often–that there is always darkness lurking. American history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh reality that we have never fully lived up to it. By marking the victory of light over darkness, Diwali is a reminder that each of us has the power to bring light to the world, whether here in America or around the world.”

“With prayers, dances, fireworks, and sweets, Biden said may all who observe Diwali enjoy the chance to celebrate and connect, to feel the pride of the community, and to remember the power in the gathering of light.”

Moreover, US vice-president Kamala Harris also delivered remarks from the White House on the occasion of Diwali celebrations. She said, “White House is the people’s house and together our president and first lady have made this place where every American can celebrate their honour and tradition.”

Diwali is a happy holiday that represents the victory of good over evil. The holiday is marked with spectacular lights, firecrackers, delectable traditional desserts, and gift-exchanging.

While the Hindus celebrate this holiday to remember Lord Rama’s return from his 14-year exile and his victory over Ravana, for those of the Jain religion, this festival symbolises spiritual advancement because it commemorates Mahavira, the final Tirthankara, achieving Nirvana or Moksha.

According to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, Diwali, often known as the “festival of lights,” is celebrated continuously for five days beginning in late Ashwin and ending in early Kartika.

Six distinct principal storylines are related to each festival day. Lord Ganesha and Lakshmi, the goddess of riches, are revered on Diwali in North India as a sign of welcoming prosperity and abundance.

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