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Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | Oct 19, 2017:: From UK to US the people Hindu faith celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights with the Sikh, Jain and Buddhist sects of it. The festivity of Diwali overwhelmed the Oval Office of White House where US President Donald Trump celebrated the holy occasion through lighting a Diya and 10 Downing Street issued a recorded Diwali wishes of UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Both Trump and May mentioned Diwali as an unique cultural exploration of Hindus signifying the victory over the evil elements with the help of good and truth.
President Donald Trump lit a diya to celebrate Diwali in the Oval Office with a group of Indian-Americans from his administration, including ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and members of the Hindu community, as he made a nod to a “very strong relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, top donor to the Trump campaign and Republican Hindu Coalition founder Shalabh Kumar and his family were also present, according to those who attended.
“Today, I was deeply honoured to be joined by so many administration officials and leaders of the Indian-American community – to celebrate Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights,” Trump said in brief remarks from behind the Resolute Desk on Tuesday, flanked by his guests.
“As we do so, we especially remember the people of India, the home of the Hindu faith, who have built the world’s largest democracy.
“I greatly value my very strong relationship with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi,” Trump added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May greeted the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali, saying the festival is the celebration of the way of life, showing Hindu culture at its very best. In a message read out at Diwali celebrations organised by leading NRI businessmen Hinduja brothers at their residence here last night, May said, “Diwali gives us all the opportunity to reflect on life, teach respect and honour and to reflect on the events of the past in order to change the future”.
“Diwali is the celebration of the way of life, showing Hindu culture at its very best,” she said in her message. The message was read out by Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel who pointed out that Prime Minister May is in Brussels, “fighting for our national interest in the negotiations on Brexit”. In the message, the prime minister also noted that the Hindu community makes a vital contribution to life here across the UK as well as Europe. “Our culture has been strengthened by the great variety of religious celebrations that now occur throughout the year,” she said.
“I will be so proud to highlight the achievements of British Indians next month, when I make my first official visit to India as Prime Minister at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, celebrating the the relation between our countries and our shared ambitions for the future”, PM Theresa May tried to signify the UK-India better relationship in her Diwali message.
President Donald Trump conveyed his Diwali message in his facebook timeline as::
Today, I was deeply honored to be joined by so many administration officials and leaders of the Indian-American community – to celebrate Diwali — the Hindu Festival of Lights.
As we do so, we especially remember the People of India, the home of the Hindu faith, who have built the world’s largest democracy. I greatly value my very strong relationship with Prime Minister Modi. Diwali is one of the most important celebrations in the Hindu religion. A time of peace and prosperity for the New Year, it is a tradition that is held dear by more than 1 billion Hindus worldwide and more than 2 million Hindus in the United States. It is also celebrated by millions of Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains in America, India and around the world.
Our Indian-American neighbors and friends have made incredible contributions to our country – and to the world. You have made extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens who serve BRAVELY in our armed forces and as first responders in communities throughout our great land.
The Lighting of the Diya is typically celebrated by families in their homes. Today, we proudly celebrate this holiday in THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE. In so doing, we reaffirm that Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans are truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American FAMILY.
We wish all of America’s Hindus and everyone who celebrates Diwali a joyous holiday and blessings of light, goodness, and prosperity throughout the New Year. And now we will light the Diya.
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America — at The White House.
I want to send my very best wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali here in Britain and all around the world.
The Festival of Lights is a special time for families and friends to come together, to share wonderful gifts and sweets, and to draw confidence from the knowledge that ultimately good will triumph over evil, hope over despair and light over darkness.
While Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists will all celebrate in their own way this week, the underlying message of Diwali – and its timeless values of duty and service – will resonate with people of all faiths and none.
As Prime Minister, I want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you – on behalf of the whole country – for the immense contributions you all make to every sphere of life in the United Kingdom.
From the doctors and nurses serving in our NHS, to the soldiers, sailors and airmen serving in our armed forces, the entrepreneurs creating jobs across our communities, and the stars of arts and culture inspiring and entertaining us, Britain’s Indian communities are a shining example of what makes our country great.
As successful and integrated communities you maintain your unique traditions while contributing fully to our national life. And you help to show the world that our United Kingdom truly is a place where people from all backgrounds and beliefs can live their lives in freedom and achieve their full potential.
So this Diwali let us celebrate the values and freedoms that we share – and let me wish you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.
Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street.
Barack Obama was the first president to celebrate Diwali in the White House – in 2009, his first year in office – by lighting a diya, and this grew into a major celebration over the years. First lady Michelle Obama learnt Bollywood dance steps for the White House celebration in 2013.
Diwali was celebrated for the first time in the same 2009 at the 10 Downing Street amid chanting of Vedic prayers for world peace, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown terming it a “historic event”.
Both President Trump and PM May described Diwali as a festival to celebrate the triumph of Truth over evils. They lauded on Hindu Tradition and culture and Hindu way of life and obviously acknowledged the great contribution of Hindus towards humanity and civilization. They also sent good wishes of Diwali simultaneously to the Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists as well.
Interestingly, both Trump and Theresa mentioned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their Diwali Message.
__Agencies/ Video Courtesy: ET & 10 Downing Street.