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Power of One award ceremony

ECOSOC Chambers

Monday 11 December 2023 - 3.30pm

Remarks by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

 

Dear Friends

Olof, Ranju, Ravi, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the Indian Ambassador, it is my privilege and joy to speak to you about Diwali, the Festival of Lights, a celebration that holds a special place in the hearts of over a billion Indians across the globe.

 

Diwali, or Deepavali, is more than just a festival; it is a sentiment that embodies the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. It is a time when homes and hearts are illuminated with the glow of diyas (lamps), signifying the light within us that has the power to dispel any shadow.

 

The story of Diwali varies across regions and beliefs, yet the essence remains the same – it's a celebration of good prevailing over evil. In Northern India, it commemorates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his victory over the demon king Ravana. In the South, it marks the day when Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. Regardless of the narrative, the core message of Diwali remains universal: the victory of virtue.

 

During Diwali, families come together to celebrate with sweets, gifts, and fireworks. It is a time for renewal, for setting aside differences, and for embracing forgiveness and compassion. It’s a festival that transcends religion and culture, becoming a symbol of unity and joy.

 

As the great poet Rabindranath Tagore said, "Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark." Diwali embodies this faith – it's a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always a light that guides us towards a new dawn. This festival encourages us to nurture the light within and to spread it, illuminating the world around us with kindness, love, and hope.

 

As we light the lamps this Diwali, let us remember that every small light can make a significant difference in dispelling the shadows. Let this Diwali be a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, our ability to find light in the darkest of times, and our unyielding belief in the power of goodness.

 

In closing, I extend my warmest Diwali greetings to you all. May this Festival of Lights bring peace, prosperity, and happiness to your lives. Let us celebrate this auspicious occasion by spreading joy and light in the world.

 

Thank you.

 

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