October 31, 2016
Chennai: Continuing to celebrate his warm relations with India, which he has built on since he started his tenure as US President, Barack Obama lighted the diya for the first time at the Oval office in Washington to mark Diwali.
Obama also expressed hope that future presidents would carry on the tradition, with his tenure set to end on January 20.
“As Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists light the diya, share in prayers, decorate their homes, and open their doors to host and feast with loved ones, we recognise that this holiday rejoices in the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance,” Obama said in his Diwali message.
He added that the diya was a reminder of what was possible when people see beyond differences that divided them, adding that that it was a reflection of hopes and dreams that would bind people together.
“And it is time to renew our 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,” the president’s message read.
Claiming that he was proud to be the first US president to have hosted a Diwali celebration at the White House in 2009, Obama also reminisced his Diwali celebrations in India during one of his visits.
He also wished people from around the world a happy Diwali.