Diwali Celebrated

October 21, 2000

Source: The Seattle Times

On October 21, 2000, The Seattle Times reported that "the Roman Catholic Church sent greetings to the world's Hindus as they prepared for Diwali new year celebrations. It expressed the hope that improving interfaith relations will benefit world harmony and peace. 'May the world around us, particularly the world of the oppressed, the marginalized, the forgotten ones and the innocent victims of injustice, feel the warmth of our growing relationship,' said a letter written by Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. 'May both Christians and Hindus continue to grow in mutual respect and understanding and be enriched together in order that they may contribute to building peace and harmony in our world,' Arinze said. The Vatican press office released the text of Arinze's letter yesterday along with a brief explanation about Hindu new year. 'Known also as Deepavali or 'the string of oil lamps,' the feast of Diwali is celebrated by all Hindus,' the Vatican said. 'Based on ancient mythology, it symbolizes the victory of truth over falsehood, light over darkness, life over death, good over evil...'Diwali celebrations culminate Oct. 27 for the world's estimated 750 million Hindus."