New York, NY
AIA NY, held the Deepavali 2021 Diya-lighting ceremony on Thursday, November 4th, 6.30pm at Times Square, (43rd Street & Broadway) outside Nasdaq stock exchange, NYC. The Diya-lighting ceremony was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Honorable Consul General of India, Randhir Jaiswal, along with Special guests NY State Senator, John Liu and community leaders.
Harish Thakkar, president of AIA- NY, said this Diwali is going to be very different from all the others we have ever experienced. Deepavali festival is one of the landmark events of AIA-NY and enjoyed by over 50,000 spectators every year. Considered by far the largest attraction for Indian Americans from all over the tri-state area, but due to Covid -19, Diwali festival didn’t take place at South Street Seaport this year, so instead, AIA NY did Diya lighting at Times Square, NYC, which is the crossroads of the world. Also, AIA facilitated the first celebration of Deepavali at the White House in 2003. In recognition of Diwali, alternate street parking in the city of New York is suspended.
NY State Senator John Liu said Diwali is the celebration of light and so, coming at a time of darkness, when there seem to be many sad stories of bereavement, sickness and financial hardship all caused by a virus, we need to ensure that our inner light stays ignited. Instead of thinking of ‘Corona. It’s a time to share compassion, love and care with everyone around us. He also said he attended many AIA Diwali festival events at South Street Seaport and thanked AIA president Harish Thakkar for organizing the Diya lighting event at time square.
Consul General of India, Ambassador Randhir Jaiswal extended his warmest wishes to everyone and said that Diwali truly brightens our evenings as we unite to celebrate the festival of lights, we mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. Diwali’s central message of openness, peace and mutual respect is one we can all learn from. He also mentioned that AIA is a grass-root national organization of Asian-immigrants in the U.S, is well known for its social, cultural and educational activities and is the organizer of the largest Deepavali festival in NYC for the past 32 years. The festivities in Time Square are always a joy to attend. He thanked AIA president, Harish Thakkar for organizing the Diya lighting event at Times Square and wished everyone Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.
A.I.A president Harish Thakkar thanked the all the media, including Radio Zindaji, ITV, TV Asia, Jus Punjabi, PTC News, South Asian Times, Desi talk, News India, Parikh Worldwide media and Hum Hindustani “We are grateful to all our media who made this event a big success,” he said.