Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Donald Trump extend Deepawali greetings

KATHMANDU: US President-elect Joe Biden, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and incumbent President Donald Trump on Saturday extended their wishes on the occasion of Deepawali to those celebrating the festival of lights.

Taking to Twitter, Biden wished on behalf of wife Dr Jill Biden as well. He wrote, “To the millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists celebrating the Festival of Lights, @DrBiden and I send our best wishes for a #HappyDeepawali. May your new year be filled with hope, happiness, and prosperity. Sal Mubarak.”

Harris, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian-American and Black woman Vice President in the US also extended her greetings through a tweet. She wrote, “Happy Deepawali and Sal Mubarak! @DouglasEmhoff and I wish everyone celebrating around the world a safe, healthy, and joyous new year.”

Biden and Harris also wished a happy Deepawali to everyone celebrating the festival of lights across the US, India, and the world through a joint statement.

“Like so many cherished traditions during the pandemic, we know this year’s Deepawali and it’s symbolizing of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and empathy over apathy arrives with a deeper meaning,” the joint statement said.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who is ushering in this new year with the recent loss of a loved one, or who finds themselves fallen on hard times. Our prayers remain with everyone fighting the pandemic on the frontlines instead of staying safe at home in prayer with their families. And, we know the sadness of being apart on a day that truly signifies the blessing of family and friendship,” they said.

“But Deepawali is ultimately a reminder of the light that’s within us all to hope and dream, and to overcome our differences and keep the faith in each other. That’s the light we see shining on this day and that will guide us through the darkness with knowledge, science, truth, unity, and compassion, the joint statement said.

“And that’s why as Deepawali is celebrated via video calls and while socially distanced this year, we look forward to celebrating Deepawali at the White House next year – in person, together with you, and in a nation healed and united,” they said.

President Trump, a Republican, who was defeated by Biden in the November 3 presidential election, shared a picture of him lighting a lamp in the White House along with Indian American members of his administration.

“The United States is a deeply faithful nation, and I am proud of my Administration’s work defending the constitutional right of all Americans to live and worship according to their conscience. Wherever Americans light diyas to celebrate Deepawali, our Nation shines bright as a beacon of religious liberty for all people, he said.

“This year, we are especially reminded to cherish and give thanks for the companionship of our friends and family. The First Lady and I wish the millions of people in the United States and around the world observing Deepawali a joyous celebration and prosperous new beginnings, Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence greeted happy Deepawali to all those celebrating the festival around the world as well.

(with inputs from Agencies)

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