American lawmakers introduce bill to declare Diwali a federal holiday in the US

American lawmakers introduce bill to declare Diwali a federal holiday in the US

An American lawmaker introduced a bill in the US Congress on Friday that would declare Diwali a national holiday.


A prominent American lawmaker introduced legislation in the US Congress on Friday that would make Diwali, the Festival of Lights, a federal holiday, a move welcomed by various communities across the country.

“Diwali is one of the most important days of the year for billions of people around the world and for countless families and communities in Queens, New York and the United States,” Congresswoman Graced Meng told reporters during a virtual press conference launching the here shortly afterwards bill in the House of Representatives.

The Diwali Day Act, if passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, would make the Festival of Lights the twelfth nationally recognized holiday in the United States.

The introduction of a federal holiday for Diwali and the associated day off would allow families and friends to celebrate together and show the government values ​​the nation’s diverse cultural makeup, the congresswoman said. “Diwali celebrations are a wonderful time here in Queens and every year it becomes clear just how important this day is to so many people. “America’s strength lies in the diverse experiences, cultures and communities that make up this nation,” she said.

“My Diwali Day Act is a step to educate all Americans about the importance of this day and celebrate the full face of American diversity. I look forward to getting this bill through Congress,” Meng said.

Welcoming the move, New York Rep. Jenifer Rajkumar said, “This year we have seen our entire state speaking with one voice for the recognition of Diwali and the South Asian community.”

“My extraordinary government partner, Congresswoman Meng, is now taking the movement nationally with her historic law making Diwali a federal holiday. Together we show that Diwali is an American holiday. To the 4 million+ Americans celebrating Diwali, your government sees you and hears you,” she said.

He commended Meng for her continued work to increase the visibility of the Asian American community and said New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney said designating Diwali as a federal holiday not only honors those who observe it, but also highlights a cultural tradition that some Americans do not experience on a regular basis.

“Diwali is a special holiday for so many South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities,” said New York City Councilman Shekar Krishnan.

“As the first Indian-American ever to be elected to the New York government, I am so proud to support Congresswoman Meng’s bill establishing Deepavali as a federal holiday. It’s vital that kids like me can officially celebrate our holidays with their families in a way I couldn’t as a kid,” he said.

A large number of community members welcomed the introduction of the Diwali Daily Law in the House of Representatives.

“Recognition of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas is vital to enriching the cultural fabric of the United States and promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the rich South Asian diaspora,” said Sim J Singh Attariwala, Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager the Sikh Coalition.

“Today is a milestone that shows our visibility, our contributions, and the progress we are making in the United States with the Diwali Day Act,” said Richard David, board member of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance.

Congratulations, Congressman Meng, President of the Coalition of Hindus of North America Nikunj Trivedi said this joyous festival is celebrated by millions of Americans and symbolizes the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, and brings people of all backgrounds together, to appreciate goodness and prosperity, peace and prosperity – things that everyone can appreciate and benefit from.

“As Hindu Americans, we are delighted to see legislation recognizing the many celebrations that take place on Diwali across the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean and beyond,” said Ria Chakrabarty, political director of Hindus for Human Rights.

“It’s high time Diwali was recognized as a public holiday in US public schools,” said Dr. Neeta Jain, Founder and President of the International Ahimsa Foundation.

“Our children should be treated equally. Just as our children celebrate other cultures, others should also celebrate and learn about our culture. This is the only way we can teach the children mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual acceptance,” she said.

(Except for the headline, this article was not edited by NDTV staff and is published via a syndicated feed.)

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