US Hindus ask Diwali holiday in Allentown schools
A US based Hindu group wants Allentown School District (ASD) in Pennsylvania (USA) to add Diwali, the most popular Hindu holy day, to the holiday calendar. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA), urging ASD to announce Diwali as school holiday, said that it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children.
According to reports, Asians make-up sizeable part of Allentown's population and a large portion of those are of India descent.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays would make ASD pupils well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.
Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, which falls on November three in 2013.
Zed pointed out that few school districts in the neighboring New Jersey have already declared Diwali as holiday, while New Jersey Department of Education includes Diwali in its "List of Religious Holidays Permitting Pupil Absence From School".
Zed stressed that all school districts across USA should declare Diwali as school holiday.
ASD, third largest urban school system in Pennsylvania whose history goes back to 1774, has 17,283 students in 21 schools and five alternative programs, who originate from 43 countries and speak 26 languages.