A distinguished American lawmaker on May 27 launched a invoice within the U.S. Congress to declare Diwali, the pageant of lights, a federal vacation, a transfer welcomed by totally different communities from throughout the nation.
“Diwali is one of the most important days of the year for billions of people across the globe, and for countless families and communities in Queens, New York, and the United States, Congresswoman Grace Meng told reporters during a virtual news conference soon after introducing the bill in the House of Representatives.
The Diwali Day Act, when passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President, would make the festival of lights the 12th federally recognised holiday in the United States.
Establishing a federal holiday for Diwali, and the day off it would provide, would allow families and friends to celebrate together, and demonstrate that the government values the diverse cultural makeup of the nation, the Congresswoman said.
“Diwali celebrations are a wonderful time here in Queens, and each year it is easy to see just how important this day is to so many people. America’s strength is derived from the diverse experiences, cultures and communities that make up this nation,” she said.
“My Diwali Day Act is one step toward educating all Americans on the importance of this day, and celebrating the full face of American diversity. I look forward to shepherding this bill through Congress,” Ms. Meng said.
Welcoming the move, New York Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar said, “This yr, we noticed our complete state converse with one voice in assist of recognising Diwali and the South Asian group.”
“My extraordinary associate in authorities Congresswoman Ms. Meng is now taking the motion nationwide together with her historic laws to make Diwali a federal vacation. Together, we’re displaying that Diwali is an American vacation. To the over 4 million Americans who have fun Diwali, your authorities sees you and hears you,” she said.
Applauding Ms. Meng for her continued work to increase the visibility of the Asian-American community, New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney said naming Diwali a federal holiday not only honours those who observe but highlights a cultural tradition some Americans do not experience regularly.
“Diwali is a special holiday for so many South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities,” said New York City Councilman Shekar Krishnan.
“As the first Indian American ever elected to NYC government, I am so proud to support Congresswoman Ms. Meng’s legislation to establish ‘Deepavali’ as a federal holiday. It is crucial that children like my own are able to officially celebrate our holidays with their families in a way that I was not able to growing up,” he said.
A large number of community members applauded the introduction of the Diwali Day Act in the House of Representatives.
“The recognition of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas is pivotal to enriching the cultural fabric of the United States and fostering greater understanding and appreciation for the rich South Asian diaspora,” said Sim J Singh Attariwala, Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager of The Sikh Coalition.
“Today is a milestone that demonstrates our visibility, our contributions, and the progress we’re making within the United States with the Diwali Day Act,” stated Richard David, Board Member on the Indo-Caribbean Alliance.
Congratulation Congresswoman Ms. Meng, Coalition of Hindus of North America president Nikunj Trivedi stated this joyous pageant is well known by thousands and thousands of Americans and symbolises the victory of excellent over evil and of sunshine over darkness and brings collectively individuals from all backgrounds to cherish goodness, well-being, peace and prosperity — issues that everybody can worth and profit from.
“As Hindu Americans, we are so glad to see a bill to honour the multitude of celebrations that take place across the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean, and beyond on Diwali,” said Ria Chakrabarty, Policy Director for Hindus for Human Rights.
“It is high time to recognise Diwali as a holiday in U.S. public schools,” said Dr. Neeta Jain, founder and president of the International Ahimsa Foundation.
“Our youngsters needs to be handled equally. As our kids have fun different cultures, others ought to have fun and find out about our tradition as nicely. This is the one means we are able to train youngsters to have mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual acceptance,” she stated.