New York City Council holds Diwali celebration

New York City Council Member Rory I. Lancman, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and eleven other City Council Members hosted a Diwali Celebration in the City Council Chambers that featured a lamp lighting ceremony, dance performances, and the presentation of proclamations to distinguished South Asian leaders.

Diwali, or Deepavali, has a deep significance to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. Each legend of Diwali has the significance of the victory of good over evil; light over darkness; and knowledge over ignorance. During Diwali each year, homes are illuminated with light to celebrate this triumph. “Diwali is a special time when millions of South Asians all across the world rejoice and fill the world with light and love,” said Council Member Rory I. Lancman. “I am honored to join the many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in our city who celebrate this important holiday.”

Four prominent South Asian leaders were recognized at last night’s celebration: Shaanti Bhavan Mandir, who was honored with a proclamation from Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Harshit Chugh, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Dromm; Jarnal Singh, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Grodenchik; and Renee Mehrra, who was honored with a proclamation from Council Member Lancman.

Other program participants included: Anandita Guha, who performed the U.S. National Anthem; Dr. Krishna Pratap, who recited the World Peace Prayer; and dance performances by Brinda Dixit, Erika Dhawan, and Masala Bangra. Democratic District Leader Dr. Neeta Jain delivered welcome remarks at the top of the program.

“May this Diwali light up peace & harmony in everyone’s life,” said Dr. Neeta Jain.

The City Hall event was organized in conjunction with Council Members Costa Constantinides, Elizabeth Crowley, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Corey Johnson, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, I. Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards, Paul Vallone and Jimmy Van Bramer. Other prominent leaders who had attended the event included,  Council Member Dromm, Council Member Grodenchik, Assemblyman Weprin and Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India.

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