US President Barack Obama celebrates Deepawali

Published On: October 31, 2016 03:03 PM NPT By: PTI

US President Barack Obama has celebrated Deepawali by lighting the first-ever diyo in the Oval Office of the White House and hoped that his successors would continue the tradition.

Obama, who was the first president to celebrate Deepawali personally at the White House in 2009, talked about this momentous occasion in a Facebook post soon after he kindled the diyo in his Oval Office with some Indian-Americans working in his administration.

 “This year, I was honored to kindle the first-ever diyo in the Oval Office — a lamp that symbolizes how darkness will always be overcome by light. It is a tradition that I hope future Presidents will continue,” Obama said on the White House Facebook page, which became viral on the social media.

By late night it was liked by more than 1.5 lakh people and shared more than 33,000 times.

“On behalf of the entire Obama family, I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness on this Deepawali,” Obama said.

“To all who are celebrating the festival of lights across America and around the world, happy Deepawali. As Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists light the diyo, share in prayers, decorate their homes, and open their doors to host and feast with loved ones, we recognise that this holiday rejoices in the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance,” said the US President.

“It also speaks to a broader truth about our shared American experience. It’s a reminder of what’s possible when we see beyond the differences that too often divide us. It’s a reflection of the hopes and dreams that bind us together,” he said.

Obama said that it is a time to renew collective obligation to deepen those bonds, to stand in each other’s shoes and see the world through each other’s eyes, and to embrace each other as brothers and sisters — and as fellow Americans.


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