This year President Obama celebrated Diwali in the White House…
Although it was the Bush White House that began celebrating Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, in 2003, Obama became the first President to personally grace the ceremony — a brief affair that began with a rather incongruous performance by the well-regarded Hindi a-capella group Penn Masala, and ended with a Sanskrit invocation by a priest from the local Siva-Vishnu temple.”
According to the post “the White House kept it light and simple” but at least it’s nice to see the US government acknowledging an important cultural festival in the world that is often overlooked in the West.
Too bad I couldn’t read about it in the mainstream US media… not even on my beloved NPR, or in the NY Times… (wait… no, after doing a term search of “Diwali” on the NY Times website I found a brief mention of the ceremony imbedded in two articles about other things. I don’t think that really counts though.)
Anyway… Happy Diwali! –or Tihar if you are Nepali ;)
You can see a longer clip of the White House Diwali observance HERE.