The Tri-State Gives Diwali the Honor it Deserves

Diwali is getting the recognition it deservers. Read this article to find out more.

Rishi Shah and Rushil Garre

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated by over 1 billion people worldwide. Along with Hindus, Sikhs and Jains also partake in the observance of the festival. Previously, Diwali was not recognized as much as it is now.

Many individuals fought hard to convince schools across the tri-state area – New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania – to recognize it as a federal holiday. They made petitions and they taught people about the importance of Diwali. Even in our school district, two years ago, a pair of sisters organized a petition to have a day off on this religious day.

Under the petition, Riya Vaishnav stated, “There are about 3.18 million Indians living in America. About half of them live in the tri-state…Diwali is the Christmas for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains…We as students think it is unfair that we have to ruin our perfect attendance for Diwali. We want to spend time with our families and take part in traditions and that can only happen on a day off.”

The appeal did not get approved by the Board of Education at that time. However, now as the Hindu festival is gaining momentum, the students in many districts with a significant Hindu population are getting a day off for the celebrations. In our state of New Jersey, the Sayreville School District is one out of 23 other districts to do so. 

At a news conference a few weeks ago, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared that it is “long overdue to say to our Hindu…communities that we see you, we acknowledge you.”