State Legislature Considers Recognizing Indian Holiday

January 28, 2007


Source: Woodbridge Sentinel

EDISON - Two state legislators have taken steps to further accent the state's diversity by introducing legislation to recognize the Indian holiday of Diwali.

Senator Barbara Buono (D-18) and Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-16) are seeking hearings on duplicate legislation in both houses that would make Oct. 15 through Nov. 14, Diwali month, a festival that celebrates, among other things, the Hindu God's defeat of demonic forces.

Buono, who said she was approached with the idea from Assemblyman Chivukula and hopes to see the legislation enacted by the end of the current session in June, believes that recognizing Diwali is a chance to celebrate not just the holiday itself but core values as Americans.

"One of the best things about being an American is the great tradition of inclusion, honoring differences," Buono said.

Buono admits inclusion has not always been an easy task.

"Sometimes the road can be bumpy," Buono said. "We live in a great country and we need to celebrate our differences. The more we know about one another the more understanding it promotes and the more tolerance as well."