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Friday, December 9, 2022

‘Festival of Lights’ Celebrated with Glory as U.S. Politicians Host Diwali Parties

Eminent Indian-American celebrities and politicians celebrated Diwali in the US

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UNITED STATES: Diwali celebrations were in full swing, with great fanfare and ecstatic gaiety in the United States as prominent American politicians including former Republican President Donald Trump and current Vice-President Kamala Harris celebrated the auspicious festivities throughout the weekend.

The iconic Times Square in New York was dazzling before Diwali as celebrations of light and music began early on Friday with Donald Trump and Kamala Harris hosting Diwali parties at their private homes.

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Eminent Indian-American celebrities and politicians began flying into the American Capital from Thursday night to attend these high-profile festivities that spanned an entire weekend, involving top members of the Biden administration and Congress.

On Friday, ex-President Trump attended an exclusive annual Diwali event held at his lavish Mar-a-Logo residence in Palm Beach, Florida which was attended by prominent figures belonging to the Hindu American diaspora in America, including Indian-American members of the Republican Hindu Coalition.

Donald Trump. Photo Credit: Transcontinental Times.
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One of the high-profile guests on the list included former Miss India Preity Upala, who was also part of the Diya lighting ceremony on stage with the former President.

Donald Trump (left) and former Miss India Preity Upala (right). Photo Credit: Transcontinental Times.

“On behalf of the entire Hindu American community, I would like to express my gratitude to be a part of this very important event. We are thankful for the President’s warmth and friendship with India. The world’s largest and oldest democracies in the world are natural allies. This century will be marked by the Indian and American strategic partnership,” she said.

Photo Credit: Transcontinental Times
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The former Republican leader has claimed numerous times that he shares cordial relations with India and the Indian community in America at large.

He has reiterated his support of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; the BJP leader has also shown solidarity in return.

US President and Vice President celebrates Diwali

Kamala Harris and the Second Gentleman paid tribute to the Indian-American community in the country by inviting scores of diplomats to the VP’s residence on Friday.

On October 24, Diwali celebrations were ramped up at the White House where President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted a Diwali party and lit the ceremonial Diya (a wick flame on an earthen lamp), surrounded by White House officials, including members of the Indian community garbed in traditional attire.

Biden has hosted the largest Diwali reception in the White House with nearly 200 Indian-Americans present.

In a tweet, he wrote, “Diwali is a reminder that each of us has the power to dispel darkness and bring light to the world. It was my pleasure to celebrate this joyous occasion at the White House today.”

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is scheduled to host a Diwali party of his own at the State Department with the diplomatic community on October 26.

U.S. politicians and lawmakers are eager to orchestrate and celebrate ethnic Indian festivals with great enthusiasm in an attempt to secure the Indian-American vote at the upcoming midterm elections.

The political agenda began early on October 15 at Times Square where Diwali celebrations were attended by key politicians like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Senator Chuck Schumer reiterated his love and respect for the hardworking Indian diaspora in America, which has greatly influenced and illuminated the cultural diversity of New York city much like Diwali, which has been celebrated in the city for years.

“We love our community, our Indian community, and we love that we all come together here in New York with our diversity,” he said.

As part of this jovial event, sacred to the Indian community, Mayor Adams awarded and honoured renowned oncologist, Dr. Dattatreyadu Nori, for his lifetime services to health and medicine.

In a first for the gigantic Indian community in America, Adams declared Diwali a public school holiday in New York City starting in 2023.

This revolutionary step signifies the enormity of Indian diasporic influence in the city as well as the city’s first step towards cultural and ethnic inclusivity. Adams also emphasized that this “long overdue” step will encourage the younger generation to learn about the festival of lights, she said addressing a huge gathering of thousands.

Also Read: Kriti Sanon’s Diwali Party 2022: List of Insider Guests

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