New York: Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas says she is ”crying tears of joy” after Diwali was declared a public school holiday in New York City.
On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that Diwali will be a public school holiday in the city starting 2023.
”After all these years! My teenage self living in Queens is crying tears of joy. #representationmatters,” Priyanka, now based out of Los Angeles, wrote on her Instagram Stories on Saturday night.
As a teenager, Priyanka had moved to the US for studies where she lived with her aunt. She attended schools in Newton, Massachusetts, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a stop in Queens, New York.
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The 40-year-old actor also posted a video of Jenifer Rajkumar, the first South Asian-American woman ever to be elected to a state office in New York, from an event where she was joined by Adams.
There were growing calls by the Hindu community in New York City to declare Diwali a school holiday given the hundreds of thousands of Indians living in the area.
Once the legislation goes through, Diwali will be a school holiday in the City of New York starting next year.
At the event on Thursday, Adams had said that by declaring Diwali a holiday in New York City public schools, “we wanted to send a loud and clear message to the countless number of people who acknowledge this period of time of celebration.” “At the same time, this is an educational moment because when we acknowledge Diwali, we are going to encourage children to learn about Diwali. We’re going to have them start talking about what it is to celebrate the festival of lights, and how to turn the light on within yourself,” he had said.
Rajkumar had said she is proud to say that “our time has come. The time has come to recognise over 200,000 New Yorkers of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain faiths who celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights.” She noted people have said that there is simply not enough room in the New York City School calendar to have a Diwali school holiday.
This week, Rajkumar introduced a legislation in the state capital that makes room for Diwali in the school calendar.