Watch: Diwali Celebrations at US VP Kamala Harris’ Washington Residence

The Naval Observatory residence of the vice president was colourfully decorated with lights and earthen lamps.

South Asians
3 min read

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, 21 October, opened her official residence in Washington DC for scores of Indian Americans to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights.

The official residence of the vice president at Naval Observatory was colourfully decorated with lights and earthen lamps as Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff hosted guests that included who's who of Indian American community in the US capital.

Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy, President’s Special Advisor Neera Tanden, and Biden’s Speech Writer Vinay Reddy were among those who attended the celebration.

Harris, who lit sparklers with the guests in celebration, said Diwali is a universal concept that transcends cultures. "It is about being inspired by the relevance of light over darkness, and shedding light in moments of darkness," Harris said in the presence of guests.

"As the vice president, I think a lot about it because we are not without great challenges in our own country and in the world. And these are the moments when a festival like Diwali reminds us of the importance of our power to bring light in moments of darkness."
Kamala Harris

“In the last few years, we have experienced a lot that has been about powerful forces trying to divide, trying to focus on what they would suggest are dissimilarities when we all know that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us,” Harris said.

“There are moments in our country right now where there are those who fight against democratic principles. The principles upon which our nation was founded. Principles like freedom, liberty,” she added.

“And in these moments where we all have a keen awareness of the unfairness and the injustice of it all, let us be guided by our knowledge that it is not new, that there will be moments like this, but that we have the power to make a difference and to elevate any moment in a way that we feel and can see the future and the possibility and all that is bright that the world allows when we have the ability to believe in it,” Harris further said.

“It is about culture. It is about an age-old concept that transcends cultures and communities. It is about a point of reflection and a moment of reflection to consider the duality of life in terms of the balance between darkness and light. And to celebrate the light. In that way, to think about what our role is and what our role should be in elevating us out of the darkness, guided by the light."
US VP Kamala Harris

With increasing influence of the Indian American community in the corridors of power in the US, Diwali has lately become a massive political event, with political leaders from both Democratic and Republican Party hosting various events.

US President Joe Biden and the First Lady Dr Jill Biden will host Diwali celebrations at the White House on Monday, October 24. The Secretary of State Tony Blinken is hosting another Diwali party at the State Department with the diplomatic community on October 26.

Besides, Diwali parties are being organised at several state capitals and governor houses by politicians of both Democratic and Republican affiliation.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  Diwali   Washington DC   Kamala Harris 

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