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US Lawmaker Introduce Bill to Declare Diwali as Federal Holiday in US

Legislation to make Diwali a federal holiday in the United States.

A prominent US lawmaker introduced a bill in the US Congress on Friday to declare Diwali (the festival of lights) a federal holiday, a move welcomed by diverse 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 Grace Meng told reporters at a virtual news conference here shortly after introducing the bill in the House of Representatives.

The Diwali Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President will make Diwali the 12th federally recognised holiday in the United States.

The congresswoman said creating a federal holiday for Diwali, and the day of rest it afforded, allows family and friends to celebrate together and shows that the government values ​​the multicultural makeup of the country. “Diwali celebrations are a wonderful time in Queens, and every year it’s easy to see how important this day is to so many people. The strength of America is the diversity of experiences, cultures and communities that make up this country,” she said.

“My Diwali Day Act is a step toward educating all Americans about the importance of this day and celebrating the full breadth of America’s diversity. I look forward to moving this bill through Congress,” Meng said.

New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar welcomed the move, saying, “This year, we’ve seen the entire state speak with one voice in support of the recognition of Diwali and the South Asian community.”

“My extraordinary partner in government, Ms Meng, is now leading a national campaign through her historic legislation to make Diwali a federal holiday. Together we show that Diwali is an American holiday. To the more than 4 million Americans who celebrate Diwali, your government sees you and hears you,” she said.

Praising Meng for her continued work to increase the visibility of the Asian-American community, New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney said that naming Diwali a federal holiday not only honours those who observe it but highlights a cultural heritage that some Americans do not experience regularly.

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

“As the first Indian-American ever elected to New York City government, I’m proud to support Councilwoman Meng’s legislation to make Deepavali a federal holiday. It is critical that kids like me be able to be with their families in a way that I could not have grown up,” he said.

Many community members applauded the introduction of the Diwali Day Act by the House of Representatives

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