In a celebration of cultural vibrancy and communal harmony, the Foundation of Indian-Americans (FIA) New England recently organized consecutive Diwali celebrations at the State Houses of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These events, held on November 15th and 17th, brought together distinguished guests, philanthropists, and community leaders to revel in the festive spirit of Diwali, the Festival of Lights. The Diwali celebrations in New England stand as a testament to the unity, diversity, and cultural richness of the region, highlighting the commitment to togetherness and community service championed by FIA-New England.
Rhode Island State House Deepawali Ceremony, November 15, 2023
On November 15th, the Rhode Island State House was adorned with lights and decorations as it welcomed esteemed guests for the Deepawali ceremony. Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, Philanthropist and Jamson Group Hotel Chairman Mr. Dilip Patel, and Rhode Island businessman Mahesh Patel were among the notable attendees. The occasion was further brightened by the presence of Spiritual Guru Keshav Sharan, Prof. Dr. Balram Singh, Team Aid Founder Mohan Nannapanni, and IARI former president Amruth Patel.
The celebration began with Lt. Governor Matos illuminating the ceremonial lamp, symbolizing the core value of cultural diversity in the United States, with Diwali playing a pivotal role. The program featured renditions of the national anthems of the USA and India, accompanied by mesmerizing performances from professional dancers Nivedita and Rituja, and a soul-stirring rendition by singer Vaishnavi.
FIA-New England President Abhishek Singh expressed gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate Diwali for the second consecutive year at the Rhode Island State House.
The event not only embraced cultural significance but also included impactful community initiatives such as food and blood donation drives, showcasing FIA’s commitment to regional welfare.
Massachusetts State House’s Diwali Celebrations, November 17, 2023
Continuing the festive momentum, the Massachusetts State House hosted its own Diwali celebrations on November 17th, led by State Auditor Diana Diz. Joining her were notable figures from various fields, including Leader Bank’s founder and chairman Sushil Tuli, Pharmasasis Bhuren Patel, Turf University Professor Anil Saigal, and businessman Sandeep Asija.
State Auditor Dizoglio, in her address, expressed admiration for the traditional Indian festivals and classical dance performed by young children, advocating for the inclusion of these cultural showcases in the Massachusetts state education system. She extended honors to Team Aid founder Mohan Nannapaneni, Johanny Pineyro, Vaishnavi, and Kalaimangai for their exemplary community services.
The celebration included captivating cultural programs by Amudha Shri and Pooja Tiwari’s dance academy, along with versatile singer Vaishnavi. The event was skillfully managed by Meenakshi Arora, the EMCEE for the evening. FIA executives Shri Anand Sharma and Nikhil Wadhwa, along with community leader Shri Kaushik Patel, warmly welcomed the dignitaries. Amol Penshwar and Ankit Loonia, FIA executives, extended heartfelt thanks to all dignitaries and attendees for their presence and support, making the Diwali celebrations a resounding success.
Embracing Diwali for a Noble Cause
On November 11th, in Taunton, MA, another Diwali extravaganza unfolded, dedicated to the noble cause of building a community center. The virtual event was graced by the presence of Kennedy scion Joe Kennedy III, who congratulated the Indian-American diaspora on the occasion of Diwali. The event, organized by Vrindavan Preservation Society (VPS) and supported by FIA-New England, showcased a cricket tournament trophy distribution, with Subu Kota (Chairman of the Boston Group) presenting the honors to Waltham11 Captain Ashok Patel and his team, as well as Team Khiladi’s Captain Nikhil Wadhwa and his team. Neelam Sahani and Priyanka Wadhwa added their blessings as emcees. This celebration highlighted the commitment to community service and cultural festivities, bringing together diverse communities in the spirit of Diwali.
The Diwali celebrations in New England, orchestrated by the Foundation of Indian-Americans (FIA) New England, have successfully illuminated the region with cultural vibrancy, unity, and community service. These events at the Rhode Island State House, Massachusetts State House, and Taunton, MA, have showcased the richness of Indian heritage and the spirit of Diwali, leaving a lasting impression on attendees and emphasizing the importance of cultural diversity and togetherness. Through their commitment to regional welfare and celebration of festivals, FIA-New England continues to uphold the values of community, service, and unity, making the Festival of Lights truly shine in New England.