US President Donald Trump celebrated Diwali in the White House along with senior Indian-American members of the administration. The President’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who is now a presidential advisor, also joined the celebrations. This is the first Diwali after Trump assumed office.
Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, Seema Verma, administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Ajit Pai, Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and Raj Shah his Principle Deputy Press Secretary were among the Indian community members who took part in the celebrations of festival of lights.
Last year Ivanka visited Hindu temples in Virginia and Florida on the eve of Diwali festival. Trump, who was the Republican presidential nominee then, had addressed the Indian-American community at a public meeting in New Jersey wherein he lit the traditional diya.
For those who don’t know, the tradition of Diwali celebration in the White House was first started by former President George Bush. He however never personally participated in the celebrations. His successor Barack Obama, in the first year of his presidency, lit the Diya in the White House, and from thereafter he made it a point in celebrating the festival every year. His successor Donald Trump is now continuing the tradition.