Bush greets Hindus on Diwali
Indo-Asian News Service
President George W. Bush has sent greetings to Hindus in the U.S. and
around the world for the festival of Diwali.
In a White House press statement Thursday, Bush said that by "marking
the beginning of the Hindu New Year, Diwali provides an opportunity to
give thanks for the renewal of life, reflect on lessons learned, and
anticipate future blessings.
"By celebrating their beliefs, ancestry, and
culture, Hindus in America and around the world enrich communities and
ensure that important values and customs are passed on to future
He said: "Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a joyous
Diwali. May the coming year be filled with hope and happiness."
Overjoyed Indian Americans said perhaps this was the first time a
U.S. president had acknowledged Diwali as a festival that celebrates the
culture and ancestry of the Hindus. The festival will be observed across
the world on October 25.
Many of them had earlier complained that Bush remembers every
festival and sends greetings on the occasion of Eid, Hanukkah and
Christmas, but has not been able to say anything on Diwali, the most
important festival observed by Hindus.
But with a bit of lobbying and letter writing, Indian Americans have
triumphed in their quest for recognition of Diwali as the festival of