Washington: Over 30 top US lawmakers along with leading Indian-Americans from across the country celebrated festival of lights here, in what is the largest ever Diwali celebrations at the US Capitol.
Organised by Co-chairs of the Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Congressmen Ami Bera and George Holding, the colorful event at the historic Library of Congress celebrated the accomplishments of the Indian-Americans, with a call to the US Postal Service to issue a Diwali stamp.
“The US and India have been building a partnership to make both our nations safer and stronger,” said Bera, the only serving Indian-American in the House of Representatives.
“The Indian-American Community has been playing a key role in building ties between our two countries, and I congratulate the volunteers who worked to make this year?s Diwali celebration in Washington a success,” he said.
Over 30 members of Congress attended the event, including Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce, Joe Crowley and Tulsi Gabbard. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also joined the celebrations.
Diwali is celebrated by nearly a billion people around the world and more than two million people in the US.
“It is the celebration of the Indian American community,” Senator Dan Sullivan from Alaska said.
“Indian American community is the epitome of the American dream,” he said, adding that he and other Senators would work on the Diwali stamp issue.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is seeking election for the Senate seat from the State, made a surprise appearance at the Diwali celebrations.
In her brief remarks, she recollected her days in Chennai when she was young.
“Diwali represents one of the best of the traditions of the Indians and Indian-Americans,” she said.
“This event celebrates who we are and all our community has accomplished,” Bera said.
“Over the next decade, I look forward to making DC the hub for connecting members of the community not just from the surrounding region, but across the country to celebrate our progress and talk about the future,” he added.