BURLINGTON- On October 15, Indian Americans for Burlington (IAB) held its first Diwali celebration on Burlington Town Common. Hundreds gathered to take part in meaningful traditions, watch dancing performances, design ‘rangoli’ art, and eat authentic Indian food. IAB was joined by several state and town officials, including State Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), the Burlington Board of Selectmen, and the Burlington police chief Mike Kent.
Diwali is a five-day festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world.
In honor of the celebration, Senator Friedman remarked, “Celebrating diversity in our community and encouraging our neighbors to learn more about and recognize the value of other cultures is incredibly important. When we come together as a community as we are today to celebrate Diwali, we take an important step toward facilitating a more welcoming environment for all.”
Friedman continued, “Today is a day to celebrate new beginnings as well as life’s blessing. It’s a day for quiet prayer and reflection, to evaluate our common commitment to help our fellow neighbors, especially those who are in need or less fortunate.”
“We are delighted that Senator Friedman agreed to be the guest of honor at the event. It was a historic event. It is for the first time in the town of Burlington that Diwali was celebrated on the town common with a tree lighting ceremony. Her partaking in all the festivities in such an open manner was wonderful and it showed her commitment to diversity and inclusiveness,” said Ranjani Saigal, an Indian American for Burlington team member who lead this event.
The event concluded with the traditional tree lighting ceremony, which signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
Indian Americans for Burlington (IAB) is a community organization that works to meet the unique needs of the growing Indian population in Burlington. Organization leaders facilitate integration into the larger community and increase the capacity of the Indian community to address the needs of individuals and families and help each other in numerous ways. IAB plays a role in educating the community about Indian culture through civic and charitable engagement. Visit http://www.iabma.org/ to learn more.