WASHINGTON, DC, November 5, 2013 (White House Press Release): Today, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed guests to the White House for a Diwali celebration. The celebration started with the First Lady surprising local students at a Bollywood dance clinic and trying out some moves herself.
Then the First Lady spoke during a reception in the East Room: "We've celebrated this holiday here at the White House every year since Barack took office. And there's a reason why we've done that. When we say that we want to make the White House the 'people's house,' we mean all people. We mean that we want to honor and embrace all of the many cultures and faith traditions that make us who we are as Americans. And Diwali is very much one of those traditions.
Diwali is celebrated by members of some of the world's oldest religions not just here in America but across the globe. "It's a time to come together with friends and family, often with dancing and good food," the First Lady said. "But Diwali is also a time for contemplation and reflection. It's a time for us to think about our obligations to our fellow human beings, particularly those who are less fortunate than we are. And as we light the diya -- the lamp -- we recommit ourselves to the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil.I am so proud and so honored to be celebrating this beautiful holiday at the White House with all of you. And I wish you all and all your loved ones a Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak."