US President Barack Obama today wished Happy Diwali to millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists celebrating the festival of lights across the globe, particularly in India and the US.
“Diwali is a time for gathering with family and friends and as we experienced in India, celebrating with good food and dancing,” Obama said in a statement referring to his Diwali celebration in Mumbai last year when he made his maiden trip to India.
“It is also a time for contemplation and prayer that serves as a reminder of our obligations to our fellow human beings, especially the less fortunate,” said Obama, who became the first US president to celebrate Diwali at the White House in 2009.
He was also the first American president to celebrate Diwali in India last year.
“Today, here in America and around the world, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists will celebrate the holiday of Diwali — the festival of lights,” Obama said.
“Many who observe this holiday do so by lighting the diya, or lamp, which symbolises the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance,” he said.
“I was proud to be the first President the mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House, and last year Michelle and I were honoured to join in Diwali celebrations during our visit to India,” Obama said.
“To all who are observing this sacred holiday here and around the world, Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak,” Obama said.