Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, celebrated Diwali on Sunday evening with members of the Indian-American community in the state. The celebrations took place at Abbott’s official residence in Austin

The tradition of celebrating Diwali in Texas is an old one. In fact, Abbott and his wife Cecilia dressed up in ethnic Indian clothes as they mingled with Indian leaders of the community and even lit a traditional diya as part of the celebrations, in a bid to commemorate the occassion. 

“Indian-Americans are true partners in the growth of the Texas economy and they are enhancing the values of this state. We are glad they have called Texas their home,” Abbott said addressing those present at the event. 

Several members of the Indian business community were also present at the event. Arun Agarwal, who serves as the vice-president of the Texas Economic Development Corporation thanked the governor for his support for the Indian community in the southern state. In fact, Agarwal is a co-chair of the India-American CEO Council and was critical in facilitating Abbott’s visit to India in 2018. 

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Members of the Texan Indian-American community all flocked to Austin from across the state to attend the event, including people from Houston, Midland, Odessa, and Sherman. Another prominent member of the Indian community, Dr Satish Nayak was also present at the Diwali event. Nayak is on the Texas medical board, having been appointed by Abbott himself. In addition, members of the Indian Association of North Texas and the US India Friendship Council were also there to attend the celebration. 

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For a few years now, Diwali has been on its way to becoming a mainstream celebration. So much so that from 2023 onwards, the festival of lights will be a public school holiday in New York City.