NYC declares Diwali as public school holiday; Canadian Hindus seeking same in Canada

21st October 2022 – The City of New York has announced that, beginning 2023, Diwali will be a holiday in all public schools in the city.

In a press conference (see the full video here), Mayor Eric Adams, Chancellor David Banks and New York Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar made this announcement.

Ms. Rajkumar said, “Today, South Asian and Indo-Caribbean families like mine all over this city have made incredible contributions. And today, I’m proud to say, our time has come. The time has come to recognize over 200,000 New Yorkers of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain faiths who celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights”.

NYC Mayor added, “It is long overdue to say to our Hindu, Sikhs, Jain, and Buddhist students and communities that, we see you, we acknowledge you. The inclusiveness of this city is extremely significant and this is our opportunity to say that in a loud way”.

Impact in Canada

After this news came out, the demand for holiday on Diwali in Canada has become vociferous.

Last year, International Hindu Foundation (IHF) started an online petition on to declare Diwali as National Holiday in Canada.

At the time of writing of this news, the petition has received over 14,500 signatures. Several Hindu organizations are supporting this petition and are reaching out to their local political representatives to gain support.

Diwali symbolizes the “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains celebrate this festival across the world. A significant population in Canada which immigrated from India, Fiji, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Guyana, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago celebrate this festival of lights to honor its cultural heritage.

It is estimated that over 1 million Canadians celebrate Diwali.

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