Obama celebrates Diwali, hopes his successors would continue the tradition

Obama was the first American president to celebrate Diwali personally in 2009.

US President Barack Obama celebrated Diwali yesterday in White House Oval office by lighting the first-ever diya and expressed his hope that his successors would continue the tradition. He lit the diya with some Indian-Americans working at his office.

“This year, I was honoured to kindle the first-ever diya in the Oval Office — a lamp that symbolises how darkness will always be overcome by light. It is a tradition that I hope future Presidents will continue,” Obama said in a Facebook post which went viral in social media.

Obama was the first American president to celebrate Diwali personally in 2009.

“On behalf of the entire Obama family, I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness on this Diwali,” the President added in the FB post.

Obama said that it is a time to renew collective obligation to deepen those bonds, to stand in each other’s shoes and see the world through each other’s eyes, and to embrace each other as brothers and sisters — and as fellow Americans.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who enjoys a large following in the Indian-American community wished Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains all over the world who are celebrating Diwali.

“If I have the honour of serving as president, I will be committed to building an Administration that reflects such diversity, including continuing White House celebrations of Diwali,” she said.

“To those of you celebrating this joyous occasion, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak,” Clinton added in the statement.

There was no such statement from her Republican rival Donald Trump. His daughter-in-law, Lara Trump had celebrated Diwali last week.

Meanwhile, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus and co-chair Sharon Day said in a joint statement that Republicans support religious freedom across the country so that all Americans can continue to share great traditions with communities.

“Diwali marks a special time as our friends and neighbours of Hindu, Jain, and Sikh faiths celebrate this year’s Festival of Lights,” said Chairman Priebus.