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President urges ‘Hope’ in Divali message

President of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes in her Divali address to the nation encouraged the national community to this year join with the Hindu community in celebrating Divali by lighting “a symbolic deya to represent the light that awaits us at the end of this Covid-19 tunnel”.

The President also that said the “essence of Divali is universal” and in the normal course of things, non-Hindus would have joined, unrestrainedly, in the celebrations by visiting their ­Hindu friends, enjoying fellowship and creating their own mini-displays of deyas.

The essential message of Divali is a triumphant one, as it is a celebration of good overcoming evil and light extinguishing the darkness,

President Weekes recounted that : “Despite the disruption and dislocation caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the inspirational message of Divali remains undiluted, unwavering and relevant, and even as our Hindu community makes the necessary adjustments to its mode of celebration, it remains steadfast in its devotion and commitment to the values of this auspicious period.”

She added “All of this will be much scaled down for this year, but I encourage every household to light a symbolic deya to represent the light that awaits us at the end of this Covid-19 ­tunnel,”

In her Divali message released yesterday, the President also noted the innovation of the Hindu community in finding ways to observe the festival of lights under public health regulations that forbid the gathering of more than ten people.

The President extended “warmest wishes for a safe, healthy and peaceful Divali” to the Hindu community and all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.