23 Oct : Washoe County in Nevada (USA) has issued a proclamation declaring October 28 as Diwali and recognizing the “exemplary work done by acclaimed Indo-American leader Rajan Zed” on this day.
Signed by Robert M. Larkin, Chairman of Washoe County Commission, with official seal of Washoe County, the proclamation says, “Diwali is a day of forgiveness, festivities, and friendliness where hostilities are forgotten and where old adversaries embrace in a spirit of reconciliation…Diwali is a five-day festival symbolizing the victory of virtue over vice and good over evil.”
Recognizing the accomplishments of Zed, it proclaims, “Rajan Zed has attempted to bring various communities together through interfaith dialogue and has made Washoe County popular through his continuous efforts to reach religious communites of the world by building bridges of trust and harmony.”
Created in 1861, Washoe County covers an area of about 6,600 square miles bordering California and Oregon and is bigger than about 75 countries of the world, including Bahamas, Qatar, Luxembourg, and Mauritius.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited the historical first Hindu opening prayer in United States Senate in Washington DC during its 218 years history. He is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com; Spiritual Advisor to the National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families; Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association; and has received various awards.
Diwali, the festival of lights, is the biggest festival of India and Indo-Americans. This is the first time Washoe County has issued a proclamation for Diwali.