All life is equal and sacred: Ramaphosa wishes Hindu community in SA a happy Diwali

File Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

File Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 25, 2022


Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended well wishes to South Africa’s vast Hindu community, as it observes the religious festival of Deepavali, known as the Festival of Lights.

Ramaphosa said the South African population joined the Hindu community in celebrating the annual festival that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness.

“Warm greetings to the Hindu community of South Africa. It gives me great joy to wish our Hindu sisters and brothers a very happy and joyous Diwali,” said Ramaphosa.

“As fellow South Africans, we join you in celebrating the annual Festival of Lights. Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and righteousness over unrighteousness as enunciated in the Hindu sacred text, the Ramayana.”

Ramaphosa said the universal message of Diwali resonated with all South Africans.

“It is a message of hope, love, caring for the well-being of all and working together for the mutual prosperity of all. Diwali is a time when family and friends get together and celebrate the joy of life through prayer, lighting of lamps, festivities, food, dance and music. One of the central messages of Diwali is the oneness of humanity and that all of life is equal and sacred.”

“South Africa has been described as the Rainbow Nation by both President Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu given our wonderful diversity of religions, cultures and ethnic groups all of which enrich our beautiful country.”

Ramaphosa said the Hindu community was an integral part of South Africa’s rich multicultural tapestry.

“Members of the Hindu Community have made a significant contribution to our country since the arrival of indentured Indians to South Africa in 1860,” said Ramaphosa.

“The community contributed immensely to our freedom struggle and are playing an important role today in nation building and the economic recovery and revitalisation of our country at a time of great challenges faced by the global community.

“Diwali thus is a time to reflect and celebrate the joyous achievements of all in our country. Let us use the celebration of Diwali to renew and reinvigorate our commitment to work together as one family in building a just, inclusive and prosperous South Africa,” he said.

“May the blessings of Lord Rama and Mother Sita be showered upon you and your family and friends on this auspicious occasion of Diwali. My best wishes to all.”

Diwali/Deepavali is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn in the northern hemisphere and in spring in the southern hemisphere.

The festival is one of the biggest and auspicious festivals celebrated by Hindus all across the globe.

According to the Hindustan Times, the festival of lights signifies peace and joy, the victory of good over evil, and light over darkness every day.