(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)
Gov. Deval Patrick celebrated Diwali in the State House Tuesday, becoming the first sitting governor to light the Diwali Diya.
Patrick joined the South Asian Arts Council at the official lighting of the Diwali Diya to mark the first day of the holiday known as “the festival of lights.”
Diwali commemorates the return of Hinduism's Lord Rama from banishment, and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, and higher knowledge over violence, fear, and oppression, according to the council.
Amit Dixit, executive director of the South Asian Arts Council, also honored the struggles of those families and communities members who first came to America decades ago as he celebrated the state’s first official lighting of the Diwali Diya.
“I honor them and thank them for everything they’ve accomplished for we could not have gotten here without their hard work and their dedication and their belief of what the American dream is,” Dixit said at the ceremony in front of the Grand Staircase of the State House.
Patrick also said he was proud to celebrate Diwali with the community.
“We honor the contributions that the South Asian community has made to our community. Your community is our community and ours is yours,” Patrick told the crowd at the ceremony.