US Government celebrates Diwali inside its Foreign Ministry
History and jubilations marked the first-ever time that the USA government has celebrated the Indian Hindu religious festival of Deepawali (aka Diwali) on 5th November 2018 inside the U.S. State Department which is the office of the Foreign Ministry. The ceremony was jointly organised with the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and Ambassador of India to the USA Navtej Sarna were chief guests. Event was attended by over 200 guests, including State Department officials, Indian Diplomats and eminent members of the community. Sarna and Sullivan jointly lighted the ceremonial lamp and addressed the gathering. Sullivan conveyed greetings to all Indian Americans and Indians and thanked the Embassy of India and the South Asian American Employee Association for organizing the event. He said that the message of Diwali is one of ``hope`` and added that the ``celebration of Diwali at the state department reflected the great strength of partnership with India and shared values of tolerance, diversity, freedom and justice.`` Sarna said that the celebration of Diwali at the State Department symbolized the growing people-to-people connect between India and the U.S. The celebrations included recital of Hindustani classical music and vegetarian dinner.