Diwali will be a public school holiday in New York City from 2023, and Mayor Eric Adams said it sends a message about the city’s importance of inclusivity and a “long overdue” move to help children learn about the festival of lights. will encourage.
Adams, joined by New York Assembly member Jennifer Rajkumar and New York City School Chancellor David Banks, said on Thursday that in their conversations during the campaign, they “learned a lot” about Diwali and the festival of lights.
“We want to send a clear and clear message to the countless people who embrace this festive time,” he said in New York City’s public schools declaring Diwali a holiday.
“At the same time, it’s an educational moment because when we celebrate Diwali, we’re going to encourage the kids to learn about Diwali. We’re going to start talking to them about how the lights are on. What is a festival, and how to turn on the light within yourself,” he said.
India’s Consul General in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, thanked Adams for making Diwali a school holiday.
“This was a long-pending demand of the Indian-American community. Recognition gives a deeper meaning to diversity and pluralism in New York City, while allowing people from all walks of life to experience, celebrate and enjoy the Indian ethos and heritage.” ” He told PTI.
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Prince, the first South Asian-American woman to be elected to a state office in New York, said he was proud to say that “our time has come. The time has come for The Hindu to recognize more than 200,000 New Yorkers.” Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, who celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights.
Adams said, “As we deal with so much darkness around us, we fail to perceive the enormous amount of light around us. And that’s when we take this period to acknowledge Diwali.” So we are accepting the light that is within us, the light that can clearly drive the darkness away and that is why it is so important.”
Adams said the city has identified public holidays such as Eid and Lunar New Year.
“We do this many other days and with many other cultures that we take for granted. It has long been expected of our Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist students and communities to say, We see you, we accept you. The inclusivity of this city is extremely important and this is our opportunity to say that.”
In the past few years, there was a growing demand by the Hindu community to declare Diwali as a school holiday, given the hundreds of thousands of Indians living in the area. Once the law is passed, Diwali will be a school holiday in New York City from next year.
Rajkumar said people have said there is not enough room in the New York City school calendar for the Diwali school holiday. This week, the prince introduced legislation in the state capital that makes place for Diwali in the school calendar. He said his law removes Anniversary Day, an “obscure and ancient day” created in the 1800s, to replace it with Diwali, which is celebrated by a growing number of New Yorkers.
“When this is done, the New York City Department of Education will be able to place the Diwali holiday on the school calendar,” he said, adding that he brought the bill to the table to help all South Asian and Indo-Caribbean New Yorkers. Yorkers will have a seat at the table.
According to the education laws of the state of New York, there must be at least 180 days of school instruction. However, to meet this minimum requirement of 180 days, no further holidays can be placed in the school calendar.
Rajkumar said that by removing the old Anniversary Day school holiday, which is not observed by anyone, his law makes room for a school holiday for Diwali, while also meeting the minimum requirement of 180 days of school instruction. .
He thanked Adams for his support, saying it was the first time in the city’s history that a mayor had committed to making Diwali a school holiday.
He said, “For more than two decades, South Asians and Indo-Caribbeans have been fighting for a Diwali school holiday in New York. I stand on the shoulders of those advocates. And now we are finally going to achieve that goal, ” He said.
“Next week, we will celebrate Diwali, a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness, of human ability to overcome, exemplifying Rama’s defeat of evil. We will celebrate the Hindu principles of inter-faith, harmony, love and all. Tolerance for New Yorkers.
“The same Hindu principles that inspired the great American civil rights hero, Martin Luther King, will celebrate our culture’s place in our nation’s great civil rights tradition. The sky is the limit of our community,” she said.
Banks said New York City is home to the whole world and that children of all communities and backgrounds attend school.
“And it is important that we honor and recognize all our youth. And so, the recognition of Diwali is another opportunity for us to celebrate, uplift and honor those youth, their families and their faith. Celebration of Light The victory of light over darkness is extremely important,” Banks said.
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