Hindu Solidarity Marks Diwali Celebration
Atlanta's Hindu community celebrated its most important festival, Diwali, the festival of lights, on Nov.-6 at Centennial Olympic Park. This is the first time that most Hindu temples and Associations of the Greater Atlanta came together to celebrate Diwali. The program, organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)-Atlanta Chapter, included performances by young artists who entertained the audience of over a 1,000 for more than three hours. Performances included popular English, Hindi, and other regional language songs of India, and classical dance forms of the country. The show, however, captured the essence of America with performances by members of other communities. An African-American girl gave a captivating performance as Lord Krishna. And there was complete silence during America the Beautiful, sung by a Caucasian.
Sneha Mehta of VHPA's Atlanta chapter and her team of volunteers worked tirelessly for several weeks to bring together the several temples in the area to participate in this celebration. Mehta, in her remarks, stressed the importance of unity and solidarity among Hindus, especially outside India. She brought forth various issues confronting the Hindu society, especially the distortions of Hindu beliefs in sociology and history textbooks in America. She emphasized the need to project Hinduism accurately and improve the understanding about India and Hinduism among American academia. She also urged every Hindu American to be a good American citizen since America was now the adopted land. Mehta assured everyone of a much larger and bigger "Hindu Unity Day" next year.
One of the guests and candidate for office of the Secretary of State of Georgia, Shyam Reddy, congratulated the organizers for doing a good job of organizing such an event. He said, being part of such an event made him feel proud to be the part of "the great Hindu society."
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