President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden joined Indian Americans in celebrating Diwali, festival of lights, on November 4. A photo shared by the White House on Twitter showed the Bidens lighting diyas with candles.
In a message, President Biden stated: “Like many cherished holidays during the pandemic, we know this year’s Diwali carries an even deeper meaning. To those who have lost loved ones, we hope this sacred time provides comfort and purpose in their memory.
“To those who celebrate here in America, we are grateful to you for making the traditions of Diwali part of America’s story. For generations, you have opened your homes and hearts during Diwali to exchange gifts and sweets, host feasts with family and friends, and organize cultural programs in our communities – with prayers and dances, vibrant and colorful art, and sparklers and fireworks – that bring us all together.
“May the spirit of Diwali remind us that out of darkness there is light in knowledge, wisdom, and truth. From division, there is unity in common bonds of empathy and compassion. From isolation, there is community in the connections we share as we look out for one another and hope, dream, and believe in possibilities.
“That spirit is what we reflected upon in the simple act of lighting a diya, a small candle that carries such profound meaning. From the People’s House to yours, may the light shine within us all as a powerful source of healing, repair, and renewal – a light that shines on who we are and what we can be at our best as a people and a nation. On behalf of our family, we wish you a happy Diwali,” Biden said in his Diwali greetings.
Vice President Kamala Harris, an Indian American, also issued a statement greeting Diwali. She said, “This year Diwali arrives with even deeper meaning in the midst of a devastating pandemic. The holiday reminds us of our nation’s most sacred values, our gratitude for the love of family and friends, our responsibility to lend a hand to those in need and our strength to choose light over darkness, to seek knowledge and wisdom and to be a source of goodness and grace. Let’s remember to honor the light within one another. From our family to yours I wish you a joyous Diwali.”