Shining moment: Brooklynites celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights

Fun festivities: Borough President Adams celebrated Diwali with the city’s Commission on Human Rights at Borough Hall on Nov. 14.
Brooklyn Daily
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They lit up the night!

Hundreds of Brooklynites came together at Borough Hall this month for an interfaith celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

More than 200 Kings Countians from all corners of the borough trekked Downtown to partake in the Nov. 14 religious festivities also celebrated by believers of Jainism and Sikhism, according to the head of the city’s Commission on Human Rights, which helped stage the gathering.

“This beautiful event allows New York City to celebrate the many rich celebrations that Hindu, Sikh, and Jain New Yorkers have,” said Carmelyn Malalis.

The five-day spiritual festival, which this year ran from Nov. 3 to 8, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, or good over evil, and celebrations often incorporate lit candles and other forms of illumination.

The Kings County event featured blessings and remarks from religious leaders and local pols, including Borough President Adams; the beep’s director of faith-based projects, Pastor Gil Monrose, who offered a Christian reflection on the holiday;

an official leading mental-health-services initiative Thrive NYC, Gagan Kaur, who offered a Sikh reflection; and Park Slope Councilman Brad Lander, who offered a Jewish reflection.

Brooklynite Pratima Doobay also sang a prayer song, and drummer Sunny Jain, British musician Jahnavi Harrison, and local band Red Baraat performed some tunes.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 5:00 pm, November 20, 2018
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