While we burst crackers in India, the people of New York’s Times Square have their own ways of celebrating Diwali every year. Accepting our rich Indian culture to their practices, New Yorkers get together and even enjoy playing Bollywood songs like ‘1, 2, 3, 4 get on the dance floor’ and much more during the celebrations!
It all began in 2013 by Neeta Bhasin, president and CEO of marketing firm ASB Communications. She moved to the U.S from India about 4 decades ago and recently got the idea of teaching them about Indian culture and her only way was by bringing Diwali to their homes!
While there is utter chaos in the United States with Trump’s Travel ban and various other issues, Neeta wishes to spread love among people.
Neeta began this initiative as she believes that American culture is a blend of Indian, Mexican and the Chinese culture and it is important to live in harmony rather than being divided.
The Diwali celebrations include a variety of Indian dishes, digital fireworks display and a lighting ceremony of the traditional Diyas, marking our traditional practices.
This year, the program witnessed an array of performers like Bollywood choreographer Terence Lewis, actors Sanjeeda Sheikh and Aamir Ali, as well as prominent singers – Hamsika Iyer, Mickey Singh and Raman Mahadevan.
These stars felt the joy of spreading the Indianness through their performances. It was a beautiful sight to see a mass of people coming together and sharing the joy of Diwali!
According to the latest census taken in the US, New York region is home to about 7,17,000 Indian citizens and it is wonderful to see how Neeta’s Diwali idea brought smiles to each of these families!