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Bill to make Diwali an official holiday in the US introduced

Representative Grace Meng, a Democrat from California, has sponsored a measure to declare Diwali a government holiday.
“My Diwali Day Act is one step toward educating all Americans on the importance of this day, and celebrating the full face of American diversity,” Meng said on Friday.
For billions of people throughout the world, Diwali is one of the most significant days of the year, she added.
The many experiences, cultures, and groups that make up our country are what give it its strength.
The bill's wording, which broadens its appeal, reads: “Millions of Americans, both religious and secular, celebrate Diwali, often known as the “Festival of Lights.”
The measure has the backing of 14 members of the House, including 13 Democrats and one Republican.
Even the scathing opponents of the Indian government and what they refer to as “Hindutva” Ilhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal are among the sponsors.
The Diwali Day Act would become the 12th federal holiday and the second religious holiday only after Christmas if it were to be approved by Congress.
The measure was presented on May 15 and sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability the same day for approval before it can be considered by the full House.
Prior to moving to the president for the last step of adoption as law, the Senate will also need to approve it.
“Establishing a federal holiday for Diwali, and the day of it, would provide, would allow families and friends to celebrate together, and demonstrate that the government values the diverse cultural makeup of the nation,” Meng's office stated.
With the support of several Hindu, Sikh, Dalit Rights, Indo-Caribbean, and pan-Asian community and professional organizations, the statement was made as May, the Asian American Pacific Islander Month, was coming to a conclusion.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice President John C. Yang said that declaring Diwali a federal holiday would be a positive step in honoring and acknowledging the diversity of our country.
A member of the New York State Assembly named Jennifer Rajkumar said that she and Meng “are demonstrating that Diwali is an American holiday.”
“To the more than 4 million Americans who celebrate Diwali, your government sees you and hears you,” she said.
Diwali is now a school holiday in New York City as a result of a campaign she and Meng started.
Meng is a representative of a significant Asian community in New York.
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans' Executive Director, Gregg Orton, applauded the launch of Meng's proposal.
“People of the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist faiths can be acknowledged and celebrated, thanks to Diwali's official recognition,” he stated. The enactment of this legislation encourages various South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures to practice and embrace their religious traditions, and our people deserve to be visible and honored.
“By embracing these celebrations, we not only include and integrate communities but also strengthen the ties of our multicultural society, making America a more vibrant and compassionate nation for all,” said Sim J Singh Attariwala, a senior official of The Sikh Coalition.
The US Postal Service made a notable acknowledgment to Diwali by releasing a stamp featuring a diya or light in 2016.
The law would require the House to declare that “Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil and unfairness, and knowledge over ignorance,” according to the draft.
“Many South and Southeast Asian communities, as well as religious groups like the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain communities, celebrate Diwali, also known as Deepavali, on this auspicious day.”
Diwali is to be celebrated in accordance with the “Vedic lunar calendar,” according to the law. the New Moon Day in the month of Kartika, which is the 15th day of the eighth month.
After being approved by Congress and made a legal holiday by President Biden in 2021, Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery.
It states that Tihar, Kali Puja, and Bandi Chhor Divas (the Day of Liberation) all fall on the same day as Diwali.

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