Obama celebrates Diwali, lights diya at White House
US President Barack Obama has celebrated Diwali by lighting a diya (clay lamp) at the Oval Office of the White House for the first time and hoped that his successors would continue the tradition.
Obama, who was the first president to celebrate Diwali personally at the White House in 2009, talked about it in a Facebook post soon after he light the diya in his Oval Office with some Indian-Americans working in his administration.
“I was proud to be the first President to host a Diwali celebration at the White House in 2009, and Michelle and I will never forget how the people of India welcomed us with open arms and hearts and danced with us in Mumbai on Diwali,” Obama said.
“This year, I was honoured to kindle the first-ever diya in the Oval Office – a lamp that symbolises how darkness will always be overcome by light. It is a tradition that I hope future Presidents will continue,” Obama said on the White House Facebook page, which became viral on the social media.