Washington, Oct 15: Barack Obama, who is the first US President to celebrate Diwali at the White House, has started of the week of festivities by lighting the traditional 'Diya'.
"I think it's fitting that we begin this work in the week leading up to the holiday of Diwali -- the festival of lights -- when members of some of the world's greatest faiths celebrate the triumph of good over evil," Obama said on the occasion at a White House function held at East Room on Wednesday, Oct 15.
This is the first time the White House celebrated 'festival of lights' which will be celebrated world-wide by Hindhus, Sikhs and Jains.
"This coming Saturday, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, here in America and around the world, will celebrate this holiday by lighting 'Diyas', or lamps, which symbolise the victory of light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance," Obama said.
The Nobel peace prize winner began the event amid Vedic mantras and chants seeking World Peace.
The occasion was graced by several members of his Cabinet and several Indian American members of his administration along with the visiting Union Minister of Commerce, Anand Sharma, and Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar graced the occasion.