Washington: United States President Barack Obama celebrated Diwali by lighting the first-ever diya in the Oval Office of the White House and hoped that his successors would continue the tradition.
Obama who became the first president to celebrate Diwali personally at the White House in 2009, talked about this momentous occasion in a Facebook post soon after he kindled the diya in his Oval Office with some Indian-Americans working in his administration.
Obama said, “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 on the White House Facebook page, “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.”
The US president said, “On behalf of the entire Obama family, I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness on this Diwali.”
His post became viral on the social media, as by late night it was liked by more than 1.5 lakh people and shared more than 33,000 times.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has a large fan following in the Indian-American community greeted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains across the world on the occasion of Diwali.