SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Hindus have applauded the South Brunswick School District for declaring Diwali as a school holiday, calling it “a step in the right direction”.
According to 2011-2012 school calendar, district schools will stay closed on Wednesday, Oct. 26 for Diwali/Deepavali. Other religious closing days mentioned on 2011-12 calendar are Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, and Good Friday/Easter.
Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement last week that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays would make the South Brunswick School District pupils well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Zed further said that it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children and urged all school districts across the United States to declare Diwali as school holiday.
According to Zed, 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.
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