Trump celebrates Diwali at the White House

President Donald Trump took part in an event celebrating Diwali Tuesday at the White House alongside several...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 3:36 AM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 3:36 AM

President Donald Trump took part in an event celebrating Diwali Tuesday at the White House alongside several administration officials.

"Our nation is blessed to be home to millions of hardworking citizens of Indian and southeast Asian heritage, who enrich our country in countless ways. Together we are one proud American family," Trump said. "I'm grateful to have numerous Americans of Indian and southeast Asian heritage who fulfill critical roles across my administration, and they've done an incredible job."

Diwali

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Holidays and observances

Political Figures - US

Politics

US federal government

White House

Ajit Pai

Festivals

Diwali -- a major cultural and religious festival observed among Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains in India and the diaspora around the world -- is known as the "festival of lights" and celebrates the victory of dharma, or cosmic order, and good over evil. During the celebration, diyas, typically oil lamps or candles, are lit, symbolizing enlightenment overwhelming ignorance -- which is represented by darkness. Trump lit a diya during the Roosevelt Room ceremony.

Promotion of the White House celebration wasn't without its hiccups.

An initial tweet from the @realDonaldTrump account recognizing the festival as "a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains" did not mention Hindus, who make up a majority of those who celebrate the holiday. The tweet, a direct quote from the President's spoken remarks, included a broken link. It was deleted after several Twitter users commented that the post excluded Hindus.

A second tweet was then posted an updated link but the same remark. Finally, a third tweet, calling Diwali "the Hindu Festival of Lights" was published.

During the White House ceremony, Trump announced that he is nominating Neomi Rao to fill Justice Brett Kavanaugh's seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

He also teased Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who was in the room.

"I just didn't like one decision he made but that's all right," Trump said as he was introducing Pai, potentially referencing Pai's decision on a merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media.

"Not even a little bit. He's independent," Trump joked, as the group of administration officials behind him laughed.

In July, Trump called the Sinclair/Tribune merger decision "so sad and unfair."

Trump took part in a similar diya-lighting ceremony in Oval Office last year alongside Pai, then-US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, who was also present this year.

According to the Times of India, President Barack Obama was both the first US president to hold a Diwali celebration at the White House in 2009 and also the first US president to light a diya in the Oval Office in 2016.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180
West Lafayette
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Kokomo
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
Fowler
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 57°
Williamsport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 60°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Delphi
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 54°
Monticello
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 54°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 57°
Clear Skies Continue
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events