Ahead of visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to United States, a US lawmaker Grace Meng has introduced a bill in American Congress to declare Hindu festival of Diwali a federal holiday.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important holidays for many in the South Asian, Southeast Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities, as well as many religious groups including Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. Billions around the world celebrate Diwali, including the millions who commemorate the holiday in the United States.
Today, I was proud to announce the introduction of the Diwali Day Act, my bill that would make Diwali a federal holiday. Thank you to all my government colleagues and the many advocates who joined me to express their support, she wrote on Twitter.
Meng said that her Diwali Day Act is one step toward educating all Americans on the importance of this day, and celebrating the full face of American diversity.
She opined that holidays in United States should recognize and reflect the great diversity of our communities.
Grace Meng represents New York’s 6th Congressional District – Parts of West, Central and Northeast Queens. She is also the First Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
If the bill moves through, Diwali would become the 12th federally recognized holiday in the United States.
Establishing a federal holiday for Diwali, and the day off it would provide, would allow families and friends to celebrate together, and demonstrate that the government values the diverse cultural makeup of the nation.
Indian American community is one of the most successful and most vibrant in the country and in the past thirty years alone, it has heavily influenced the North American nation.
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