The Hindu and Jewish community in Chicago is planning a first-ever joint celebration of Diwali and Hanukkah as the “Festival of Lights” on November 18. The Consul General of both the countries will be present at the event.
The “Festival of Lights” is being planned to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali and the Jewish festival of Hannukah; both have different historical contexts but signify the same essence.
Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish uprising against the Greek-Syrian kingdom, which tried to force its culture on Jews and desecrated the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Similarly, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
The joint celebration is a tribute to the spirit of Swami Vivekananda’s belief in the respect for and understanding of other religions.
Peggy Shapiro, Midwest Executive Director of StandWithUs, said that the event as a celebration of two peoples, both of whom honour ancient ties, and cherish common values. “ StandWithUs is an international, non-profit Israel education organisation.