- She surprised the staff and posed for a photograph to mark the festival of lights.
Vice President Kamala Devi Harris surprised the South Asian American staff at the White House by taking a photo with them on Diwali day, Nov. 4. A video shared on Twitter, shows Harris walking up to the group, many dressed in traditional clothes. As the staff wishes her “Happy Diwali” in unison, Harris stands along with the group, with a diya in her hand, to pose for a pic.
Harris’ aide, Opal Vadhan, posted the video on Twitter. “Madam @VP surprised White House staff taking a photo for Diwali,” she tweeted. “I can’t tell you how much it means to work for an administration that celebrates diversity.”
Earlier in the day, Harris issued a statement saying, “This year Diwali arrives with even deeper meaning in the midst of a devastating pandemic. The holiday reminds us of our nation’s most sacred values, our gratitude for the love of family and friends, our responsibility to lend a hand to those in need and our strength to choose light over darkness, to seek knowledge and wisdom and to be a source of goodness and grace. Let’s remember to honor the light within one another. From our family to yours I wish you a joyous Diwali.”
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also joined millions of Indian Americans in celebrating Diwali, Nov. 4. The White House posted on social media a photo of the President and First Lady lighting the Diwali diya. “It is our honor to be the first president and first lady to light a diya together in the White House to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights that is observed by more than one billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in the United States, India, and around the world,” the president said in a statement. “.Like many cherished holidays during the pandemic, we know this year’s Diwali carries an even deeper meaning. To those who have lost loved ones, we hope this sacred time provides comfort and purpose in their memory. To those who celebrate here in America, we are grateful to you for making the traditions of Diwali part of America’s story.”