Gopi Diwali at Times Square, presented by KIA, lit up the heart of Times Square, celebrating cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion. Aligned with the NYC Diwali school holiday, the event transcended the traditional symbolism of Diwali, focusing on illuminating the inner self and fostering unity, enlightenment, love, peace, and harmony for a more peaceful world.
“The festival aimed to unite people from diverse backgrounds, focusing on education to foster unity and diversity, prioritized including children and teaching them to be responsible citizens, compassionate individuals, and good neighbors.”, said the Founder of Diwali at Times Square, Neeta Bhasin.
One of the evening’s highlights was the grand Diya (lamp) lighting on stage, synchronized with the countdown on the One Times Square tower. The ceremony drew distinguished guests, including Eric Adams, NYC Mayor, Senator Chuck Schumer, Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi, Consul General of India Randhir Jaiswal, Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, Justice Karen Gopee, and various esteemed dignitaries.
The Gopi, a California-based family-run dairy company, emphasized the universal message of peace and love through Diwali. Annie Keropian-Dilsizian, Gopi’s Marketing Manager, highlighted the event’s historic significance. Festival goers received complimentary full-size product samples, including Gopi Lassi and Paneer, to add joy and tradition to their Diwali celebrations.
Steven Center, COO & EVP of Kia America, expressed “Diwali’s core values of balance, harmony, and joy are mutual guiding principles of Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity, that’s why Kia is proud to participate as presenting sponsor of Diwali in Times Square and recognize the festival of lights.”
The festival showcased an awards segment, honoring outstanding individuals: Neera Tanden the recipient of the “Woman of the Year in Public Service” US Domestic Policy Council Director, expressed gratitude “Celebrating Diwali in Times Square was a pleasure. Thanks to Neeta Bhasin and the Board for recognizing my commitment to improving lives. This event honored the invaluable contributions of the Indian American community, enriching and strengthening America”.
Procter and Gamble COO, Shailesh Jejurikar, was honored with the “Man of the Year in Private Service” Award said “I am humbled and honored by this recognition. As I reflect on my career, I am inspired by Procter & Gamble’s commitment since its founding 185 years ago to improve consumers’ everyday lives. This dedication fuels my determination to create a meaningful and lasting impact.”
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar who played a pivotal role in establishing the NYC School Holiday and strong support for Diwali at Times Square was honored with the ‘Samman Award’.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams declared October 28th as Diwali Day.
Senator Chuck Schumer who never misses Diwali at Times, loves the Indian community. In support of the community Senator said ‘I wrote laws to allow more Indians to come to America and New York. The more Indians are in New York, the better New York is. I will change the law to make it more so”.
Randhir Jaiswal, the Consul General of India, NY stated, “As we celebrate Diwali in Times Square, we mark not just a festival but a milestone in the recognition of our culture, as Diwali becomes a public holiday in schools.”
The “Light Up Concert” dazzled with Bollywood star Mika Singh, Indian American sensation Shuba, and local talents, making it a vibrant celebration of cultural diversity and impactful individuals.
A R Helping Hands Diwali at Times Square is an annual event that celebrates Diwali with grandeur, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to embrace unity in diversity, honor outstanding achievements, and celebrate the festival of lights.
We are honored to receive a message from Prime Minister Modi, extending heartfelt greetings for the joyous occasion of Diwali.