Diwali as holiday in Sunnyvale schools in California, Hindus ask

Hindus want Sunnyvale School District (SSD) in California (USA) to add Diwali, the most popular Hindu holy day, to the holiday calendar. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urging SSD to announce Diwali as school holiday, said that it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children. According to reports, Asians made-up about 41% of Sunnyvale’s population and a sizeable portion of those were of India descent.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays would make the District pupils well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It would make District look good also besides bringing cohesion and unity in the community.

Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hindus worship goddess of good fortune and beauty Lakshmi, god of wisdom and auspiciousness Ganesh, and mountain Goverdhan on this day. Also on this day, coronation of Lord Ram was held, Lord Hanuman was born, Lord Vishnu returned kingdom to monkey king Bali of Kiskindha, Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi married, Lord Krishan killed demon Narakasur, and ancient king Vikramaditya was crowned. On this day of forgiveness, festivities, and friendliness; families and friends get together for worship followed by a sumptuous and elaborate feast. It is also considered a harvest festival. Zed stressed that all school districts across USA should declare Diwali as school holiday. Diwali falls on October 26 this year.

SSD, which runs 10 schools, is a high performing school district whose Sunnyvale Middle and Cherry Chase Elementary are National Blue Ribbon Schools. Dr. Benjamin H. Picard is the Superintendent.

Known as the heart of renowned Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is home to Yahoo!, Lockheed Martin, AMD, etc. Notable people associated with Sunnyvale include actress Teri Hatcher, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Nobel laureate Andrew Fire, Olympic gold medalist Benny Brown, and talk show host Mark Levin. Melinda Hamilton is the Mayor while Gary Luebbers is City Manager.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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