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Old 16th October 2009, 10:04   #1
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Default Obama celebrates Diwali!

For the first time ever a US President lit a lamp amidst the chanting of shlokas at the White House officially marking the celebration of Diwali.

25 years ago when I lived in the US, Diwali would come and pass and there wouldn't be the faintest trace of the lovely festival celebrated.

A black President, Diwali celebrated, hopefully namaz at a mosque celebrating Id and many more festivals of the growing multicultural face of America being acknowledged officially. Way to go America, you finally understand the meaning of the word "liberal"

To me personally this is a remarkable transition. I remember people asking me questions like

"Where do you come from?"
"India," I reply
"where's India?"
"in Asia"
"where's Asia?"
"oh its just outside America"

to

"How did you come across from your country"
"I swam across the oceans"

to

"Do you still have tigers roaming around on streets"
"yup, I had one as a pet"

Mind you this was also the time when the US woke up to the horror that students in schools in Florida couldn't mark Chicago on the map!!

And to see a President celebrate Diwali, wow !!

The hispanic population is said to exceed caucasians very soon. Don't be surprised if Spanish one day is the official loanguage in the US or atleast starts figuring on sign boards across atleast the West !!!

I like what's happening there. There was always a sense of fear in the caucasian population of losing their identity. With Obama elected they've come a long way.

Congrats to the US finally maturing. It is after all an amazing country !

Last edited by DKG : 16th October 2009 at 10:11.
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Old 16th October 2009, 10:16   #2
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didn't george bush celebrate diwali last year in white house?
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Old 16th October 2009, 10:19   #3
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The greatest generation (the one that fought WW-II) had very good idea about the rest of world. But the baby-boomers became so inwardly focused, the subsequent generations have found it hard to snap out of it.

Obama's multi-national parentage/upbringing surely helps him look beyond American borders.
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Old 16th October 2009, 10:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
didn't george bush celebrate diwali last year in white house?
The media claims this is the first time a US President has officially done so at the White House.

Another interesting clip reports that yesterday the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution officially recognising Gandhiji's contribution toward world peace through non violence.

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Old 16th October 2009, 10:34   #5
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I do not like the thread title. I do not think there is too much for America to learn from the rest of the world. If Americans did not know where India was 50 years ago, how does that matter? In fact many developing countries (for e.g. BRIC nations) have much to learn from America.

America has welcomed millions of people from all over the world for so many years who have migrated to that country (legally or illegally) and have made careers and led pretty decent lives.

Now these are the same people who say things like "America should open up or America is not mature"

Its only a cycle after all. If there is a need for Americans to learn the Indian way of life, am sure they will.
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Old 16th October 2009, 10:43   #6
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Mr Obama and his PR team certainly know how to manage his public image. These publicly visible actions are always suggested by PR advisors and do not necessarily mean anything. I think the American people who voted him to power are beginning to get restless with his speeches and are expecting some action on the ground.
Sorry for giving a slightly skeptical view on the "apparently" nice gesture. Mr Obama's lighting up the lamp for Diwali will not make too many Americans - black or white - love the "Bangalore" guys who take away their jobs.
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Old 16th October 2009, 10:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS2024 View Post
Americans to learn the Indian way of life
you obviously are missing the point. Its got nothing to do with America learning from India or vice versa. Its about America accepting its own changing face and doing so officially in a symbolic gesture such as lighting a lamp at the White House. Accepting its own changing face is a sign of maturity.

For more than 200 years America harped about equality and they never elected a black President until now. They still have to elect a woman President. The country is a baby compared to the older civilisations of the world and surely is on a huge learning curve in terms of the social and cultural changes taking place in its population.

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Old 16th October 2009, 11:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS2024 View Post
I do not like the thread title. I do not think there is too much for America to learn from the rest of the world.

America has welcomed millions of people from all over the world for so many years who have migrated to that country (legally or illegally) and have made careers and led pretty decent lives.

Its only a cycle after all. If there is a need for Americans to learn the Indian way of life, am sure they will.
After going through an article in wikipedia, regarding human genocides, i must say "Title is very much apt".

FYI, the article is - List of wars and disasters by death toll - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

If at all americans have welcomed OTHERS, its just to build their own country. Surely, we have benefited just because we "worked for them".

If they learn "indian way of life", its just because they feel its important for their further growth and survival. And hence they are "maturing".
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Old 16th October 2009, 11:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS2024 View Post
I do not think there is too much for America to learn from the rest of the world.
Wrong. very wrong. There is in fact too much of things America need to learn from the rest of the world.
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Old 16th October 2009, 11:30   #10
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Note from Mod: the title of the thread has been changed from "America Matures" to "Obama celebrates Diwali" to more accurately represent the matter contained in the thread

Last edited by Stratos : 16th October 2009 at 11:34.
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Old 16th October 2009, 11:41   #11
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When you live in cities like New York, LA or Chicago and meet the more cosmopolitan American you build a very different view of the country. But when you go into rural America and meet the people you realise that not only had they become very insular but totally lacked a global perspective on things.

That such a nation has matured to be able to transcend issues like race and color and elect a black President, to now light the lamp of a festival popular to a million plus Indian Americans in the hallowed halls of the White House is a sign of a changing mindset, that to me surely represents maturing.

The White House to the man on the street represents the ethos and the spirit of America - so its symbolism is far greater than a PR exercise. If the man on the street has not changed there would be a huge outcry over such symbolism.

America is changing, growing up. I see no reason to not acknowledge and appreciate that growth or maturing. It is a very positive sign.

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Old 16th October 2009, 12:01   #12
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What a lot of people don't realise is that this kind of symbolism is very powerful when the US President chooses to do so in the White House.

Can you even begin to imagine what it does to the hearts of the million plus Indians working hard in that country, who in all probablity have made it their home for the past 30-40 years? Its huge, the impact is awesome. It will energise the Indian community to work harder and treat the US more as their own home as now they publicly can be proud of their heritage.

To the non Indian American the message is, respect other cultures, and possibly participate in festivities. Its a message to becoming more secular, more open to "alien" cultures, adopting a more global perspective.

It is in my opinion a very wise move. While the President has a tough job ahead of re-vitalising an economy he also remains a powerful symbol, not just to the average American but to the world.

Its not about India per se. Its about the changing mindset in the White House. Of hinting at the world becoming a global village, and the need to take heed of the vast differences socially and culturally that make up the peoples of this world.
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Old 16th October 2009, 14:21   #13
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Happy Diwali to one and all.
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Old 16th October 2009, 15:59   #14
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Money talks! Even more loudly in the now nearly bankrupt US of A.

I will say something has really happened when the title is changed to

OSAMA celebrates Diwali!!!!
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Old 16th October 2009, 16:34   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Money talks! Even more loudly in the now nearly bankrupt US of A.
This makes me remember the hero of the movie 'Borat' referring to America as US & A !!

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