Diwali Celebrations and Proclamations Brighten the United States

Washington, DC (November 8, 2017) — This year, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) led its most comprehensive government outreach campaign in honor of the Hindu festival of lights, more commonly known as Diwali or Deepavali. From city councils, state houses, and governors’ mansions across the country to America’s national capital, HAF ensured Diwali was recognized by more government officials than ever before.

In addition to again having the State Assembly of California proclaim October as Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month, spearheaded by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, HAF successfully engaged the following government entities to issue proclamations in honor of Diwali this year:

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser - City of Washington, DC
  • Governor Sam Brownback - State of Kansas
  • Governor John Kasich - State of Ohio
  • Governor Roy Moore - State of North Carolina
  • Governor Tom Wolf - State of Pennsylvania
  • City Council of Troy, Michigan
  • Michigan State Assembly

HAF leaders were invited to attend the first ever Diwali celebration hosted by the Governors of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as the first celebration hosted by Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas also observed Diwali again this year, lauding the contribution of the Hindu American community’s service during Hurricane Harvey and the ongoing relief efforts.

Diwali celebrations culminated with a grand reception on Capitol Hill, where HAF co-hosted a grand event with the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Indiaspora, and several other community organizations.

More than 30 members of Congress attended, including Hindu American Congressional leaders Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8), as well as Raj Shah, White House Deputy Press Secretary and the most prominent Jain American in the US government. The diplomatic community was also well represented with Ambassadors Navtej Sarna of India, Niermala Badrising of Suriname, and Ashok Mirpuri of Singapore.

You can see more pictures of the Capitol Hindu Diwali event here: BAPS Celebrates Diwali at the U.S. Capitol, Washington DC, USA