In a statement released on November 5, Secretary Clinton wished the world a happy Diwali, saying, "On behalf of the people of the United States, I send warm wishes to the millions of families around the world who are celebrating Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights.
"Many faiths celebrate this holiday to remember that light and truth conquer darkness and compassion drives out ill will. Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains mark Diwali with their own distinctive traditions but they all value compassion, self-reflection, and family togetherness. These ideals transcend faith, region, and culture, so it is fitting that President Obama's upcoming visit to India coincides with this year's Diwali celebration.
"We join the people of India to celebrate this joyful festival, the auspicious partnership between our two countries, and the great friendship between our people. I wish all people of Indian descent a very happy Diwali and a safe and prosperous year."
President Obama departs today for a ten-day trip starting in India, followed by Indonesia, South Korea (for the G20 Summit in Seoul) and Japan (for the APEC Summit in Yokohama). A press briefing about his travel is available here.