Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller gathered at the Universities at Shady Grove with members of the South Asian American community in Maryland to celebrate Diwali, the Indian “Festival of Lights.”
In a celebration hosted Monday by the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, Moore officially proclaimed the celebration of Diwali “Festival of Lights” in the state of Maryland.
“The beauty of Diwali transcends cultures and languages,” said Moore. “This celebration of faith and choosing light over darkness is a message that is both powerful and absolutely necessary in our current climate.”
READ: South Asians have woven Diwali traditions into America’s fabric: Biden (November 14, 2023)
“I was proud to join with Maryland’s first Indian American Lieutenant Governor and members of the South Asian American community to celebrate Diwali. Growing up as an immigrant, I remember celebrating Diwali and lighting the Diya with just a small group of Indian American families like mine,” said Miller.
“Celebrating Diwali alongside members of our administration and members of the community, and lighting the Diya as Maryland’s first immigrant and first Indian American Lieutenant Governor is an honor I will always treasure.”
Hyderabad, India, -born Miller is the first South Asian woman elected lieutenant governor in the United States, as well as the first Asian American lieutenant governor and first immigrant to hold statewide office in Maryland.
Miller’s family came to the United States when she was seven. She attended public schools in Upstate New York and Ballwin, Missouri. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Diwali, the “Festival of Lights,” is celebrated by over one billion individuals worldwide of Hindu and other faiths. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
According to the 2019 American Community Survey, approximately 105,000 individuals of Indian descent live in Maryland. The South Asian American population in Maryland is one of the fastest-growing populations in the state.