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Bill urges US posts to issue Diwali stamp

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April 22, 2005 00:06 IST

A legislation was introduced on Thursday in the House of Representatives urging the US Postal Service to issue a postage stamp honouring Diwali, the Indian festival.

Introducing the bill, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, founder of the India Caucus, said an estimated 1.5 million Indian-Americans celebrate Diwali, which traditionally takes place for five days during the months of September and October.

The holiday is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Muslims and Buddhists and is considered a time for communal gatherings and spiritual enlightenment.

"Diwali is one of the most important and colourful of the Indian festivals and is celebrated enthusiastically by Indians all over the world," Pallone said.

"The rich culture and spirit of Diwali has survived political, economic and social vicissitudes throughout history, while always carrying the universal symbolism of the triumph of light, goodness, knowledge and truth," he added.

Pallone noted that the Diwali stamp has received widespread community support. To date, approximately 115,000 people have signed an online petition to the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Commission in support of the stamp.

Pallone added, "As the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee continues its plans for issuing new stamps, I hope that it will consider issuing a Diwali stamp to honour this culturally significant holiday celebrated in the United States and abroad."

The Commission under the US Postal Service currently issues many stamps with holiday themes, including Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Eid.

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