Washington: The first ever Diwali festival was celebrated at the U.S. Congress amidst chanting of Vedic mantras by a Hindu priest.
The event -- the first of its kind event at the Capitol Hill -- was organised by the two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Congressmen Joe Crowley and Peter Roskam in recognition of increasing presence of the Indian-American community.
The occasion was also used to highlight significance of India-U.S. relationship.
"I have come here to say Happy Diwali," said Nancy Pelosi, Leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives.
"United States owes a great debt of gratitude to India. Because our civil rights movement was built on the non-violent movement in India. Martin Luther King studied there, spoke there. We are blessed not only by that legacy, but also by the presence of so many Indo-Americans in our country," Pelosi said.
"This is a truly historic event," Crowley said.
Roskam said Indian Americans are an example of an enormous diaspora that is incredibly influential.
"You have the ability to bring together people from both sides of the isle in ways that are powerful and significant," he said.