Trump lights lamp in Oval Office, wishes Happy Diwali

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Washington: US President Donald Trump on Sunday extended his greetings to all celebrating Diwali, saying relations are “strengthened by sacred traditions”.

In a caption to a video shared on his Twitter handle showing him lighting the lamp in the Oval Office (Diya) along with a group of Indian-Americans, Trump wrote: “As Diwali commences, @FLOTUS Melania and I wish those observing the Festival of Lights a blessed and happy celebration! #HappyDiwali”, ending it with a ‘diya’ emoji.

In the video message, he said: “As we light the Diya here today, we know that our relation strengthened by the sacred traditions that bid the people together across your land made us light. May this light bring hope to all and may everyone have a wonderful Diwali.”

The Indian diaspora in the US has a significant presence, and at the recent, “Howdy, Modi!” event in Texas, President Trump shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On October 24, Trump invited Harold D’Souza to join The President and Senior Administration officials for the Ceremonial Lighting of the Diya on October 24.

It was a feeling of great respect to represent India at the White House with President Trump celebrating the lighting of the Diwali Diya at the Oval Office with selected top officials from the nation, reflected Harold D’Souza.

President Trump said; “As Diwali commences, Melania and I wish those observing the Festival of Lights a blessed and happy celebration.
 
For many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in the United States and around the globe, this sacred period is an opportunity to commemorate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.  Throughout this holy time, members of these faiths engage in prayer, light diyas and lanterns, and partake in traditional feasts and other festivities with friends and family.
 
The observance of Diwali throughout America is an important reminder of the significance of one of our Nation’s core tenets—religious liberty.  My Administration will continue to defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution that enable people of all faiths to worship according to their beliefs and conscience”. 

Harold D’Souza shared with President Trump of his visit to India in November. Hearing this, President Trump got excited and told Harold of his remarkable experience with Prime Minister Modi at Huston, Texas.

Harold D’Souza was born in Vadodara. He did his schooling from Convent of Jesus Mary High School and B.Com Master’s from The Maharaja Sayajirao University.

This was Trump’s third Diwali celebration at the White House, a tradition that began with his predecessor Barack Obama in 2009. Trump’s first Diwali celebrations at the White House was in his Oval Office in 2017. In 2018 Trump celebrated Diwali in the Roosevelt room.

President Trump, appointed Harold D’Souza on the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. He promoted his book; ‘Frog in a Well’ at the White House on September 12, 2019.

(Agencies)