The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has extended his Diwali greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he celebrated the joyous occasion with leaders of the Indian-American community at his sprawling official residence in Austin.
Diwali or Deepavali is a festival that marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
On Sunday, Governor Abbott and first lady Cecilia Abbott were dressed in traditional Indian attire, as they greeted leaders of the Indian-American community and lit a lamp to commemorate the occasion.
Abbott conveyed Diwali wishes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the people of India and Indian Americans living in Texas and other states in the US.
Tonight, Cecilia & I celebrated Diwali at the Governor's Mansion. We welcomed friends as we lit Diwali lamps & celebrated the victory of light over darkness, goodness over evil, & hope over despair. Happy Diwali to those celebrating the Festival of Lights! Abbott said in a tweet.
He also lauded the Indian-American community for their achievements in various sectors and participating in the prosperity of Texas.
Indian Americans are true partners in growth of Texas economy and they are enhancing Texas values, we are glad they have called Texas as their home, Governor Abbott said.
"The growing similarity of shared values such as education, entrepreneurship, economic advancement, and compassion will continue to bring the communities of India, Texas and Indian Americans closer to each other," he elaborated.
The Diwali celebrations have become an annual fixture at Abbott's official residence, with the only exception being in 2020, when the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The guests at the ceremony included prominent heads of the community organisations from across the state of Texas, Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, Arun Agarwal from Dallas, who serves as Vice-Chair of Texas Economic Development Corporation and Dr Satish Nayak from Midland, who serves on Texas medical board as governors' appointee, among others.
Diwali, the festival of lights symbolises the triumph of good over evil and is a time for harmony, goodwill and affirming the bonds between family and friends, Mahajan said, as he thanked Abbott and First Lady Cecilia for their warm gesture.
Agarwal, who was instrumental in organising Abbott's maiden visit to India four years ago, thanked the Governor for supporting the Indian-American community in Texas.
Texas is home to the second-largest Indian-American population in the US, behind only to the state of California.
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