Diwali in America, 2003

October 26, 2003

Source: Des Moines Register


On October 26, 2003 the Des Moines Register reported that "Fireworks lit up the sky over the Hindu Temple in rural Granger Saturday as Hindus celebrated Diwali. The festival is the most important Hindu celebration, said Mani Bonthala, president of the temple's executive committee... In past years, Hindu families celebrated Diwali in their homes. However, construction of a $1.1 million temple was completed about 10 months ago, providing Hindus with a place to celebrate Diwali and have fireworks. 'In India, all of the people were celebrating Diwali, so everyone was shooting off fireworks,' said temple member Uma Palakurthy. 'But before we had the temple, we would celebrate at home or at some school, so we never had fireworks. We always just gave our children sparklers we'd saved from Fourth of July.' Children were still given sparklers Saturday, and the outside of the temple was decorated with holiday lights."