This year, Biden will celebrate Diwali in the White House, Understand the History.

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Analysis : Although the tradition of celebrating Diwali at the White House started in 2003, it broke in 2020. 

Diwali in white house
Source – Hindustan Times

Diwali i.e. the festival of lights is just 15 days away and preparations for it have started in India. The festival of Diwali, which is celebrated with great pomp in India, has now become ‘Global’ and this festival of lights is being celebrated with great enthusiasm in many countries of the world. Diwali festival has been celebrated for the last two decades in the White House, which is the residence of the President of the United States of America, a world superpower. American president Joe Biden has recently said that he will celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm as well. 

Since When is the Diwali festival celebrated in the white house?

The White House is credited with celebrating Diwali, former US President George W. Bush. Bush 1st celebrated Diwali at the presidential palace in 2003 to attract Hindus from America. Bush and his wife Laura Bush at that time wished the Hindus of America a special Diwali. But then directly in 2009 the Diwali festival was celebrated in the White House.

In 2009, Barack Obama, who succeeded Bush as President, celebrated Diwali at the White House, and after that, the tradition of celebrating Diwali at the US presidential palace was created. Obama traditionally celebrated the festival by lighting Diwali lamps at the white house. After that, a special banquet was organized for American citizens of Indian origin. Obama has continued the tradition of celebrating Diwali for 8 years. Donald Trump who took office after Obama and current president Joe Biden has also maintained the tradition of celebrating Diwali in the United States.

How did Trump celebrate Diwali ?

Former President Donald Trump started a new tradition of celebrating Diwali at the White House with selected citizens of Indian origin and some leaders of the Indian-American community. While celebrating the first Diwali as President in 2017, Trump invited the then-Indian Ambassador Navtej Singh Sarna to the Roosevelt Room, then in 2019, Trump celebrated Diwali with representatives of Indian origin such as Kamala Harris, Pramila Jaipal, Raja Krishnamurthy, Rohit Khanna.

A Diwali break in the white house?

Although the tradition of celebrating Diwali at the White House, started in 2003, it broke in 2020. In 2020, the world was hit by a corona pandemic, at that time white house administration decided to not celebrate Diwali with the crowd at the white house. As the number of people affected by the coronavirus started to increase. But the then US President wished Diwali. 

How will Biden Celebrate Diwali in White House this year?

White House media secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said that US president Joe Biden has decided to celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm in the white house this year. A large number of Indian American citizens live in America. Apart from that, Pierre said that since America’s relations with India are strong, this year’s Diwali festival will be celebrated with great enthusiasm. 

Diwali public holiday in America ?

A bill was introduced in the US congress last year to declare Diwali a federal holiday. Congress Women Carolina Malone introduced the bill. The bill was supported by the members of the democratic party, India Caucus, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamurthy, and other advocates. But the decision has not been made yet. In US states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, Schools and some private businesses are closed on Diwali days. Diwali is a public holiday in many countries of the world. It includes Malaysia, Fiji, Nepal, Mauritius, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.  

Apart from America, Diwali is also celebrated by the leaders of other countries…

Apart from America, Diwali is celebrated in many countries that have a large number of Indian citizens. Last year British prime minister Boris Johnson and Home Minister Priti Patel celebrated Diwali by visiting the Swami Narayana temple in London. Johnson wished the citizens of Indian origin in Britain a happy Diwali. Johnson’s predecessors David Cameron and Theresa May also hosted Diwali parties at their residences during their Prime Ministership, apart from that Diwali is also celebrated by the heads of state of Malaysia, Singapore, and Mauritius. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last year wished the countrymen a happy Diwali by lighting a lamp.

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