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HR-49 (2019-2020)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

House Resolution
No. 49


Introduced by Assembly Members Kalra and Cristina Garcia
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan, Chu, Cooper, Quirk, and Reyes)

July 08, 2019


Relative to Diwali.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


HR 49, as introduced, Kalra.

WHEREAS, Diwali, a festival of great significance to Indian Americans and South Asian Americans, is celebrated annually by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains throughout the United States, and across the globe; and
WHEREAS, There are approximately 3,230,000 Hindus in the United States, nearly 2,000,000 of which are of Indian and South Asian origin; and
WHEREAS, The word “Diwali” is a shortened version of the Sanskrit term “Deepavali,” which means “a row of lamps”; and
WHEREAS, Diwali, one of the world’s oldest religious holidays, brings together families, friends, and communities here in California, the United States, and around the globe in goodwill, peace, and a shared sense of renewal; and
WHEREAS, Diwali is a festival of lights during which celebrants light small oil lamps, place them around the home, and pray for health, knowledge, and peace; and
WHEREAS, Hindu celebrants of Diwali believe that the rows of lamps symbolize the light of knowledge and truth within the individual that signifies the destruction of all negative qualities—violence, anger, jealousy, ignorance, greed, fear, or suffering; in other words, Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil; and
WHEREAS, Diwali falls on Sunday, October 27 this year in accordance with the lunar calendar and is celebrated by Hindus as a day of thanksgiving for the homecoming of Lord Rama and the beginning of the new year for many Hindus; and
WHEREAS, For Sikhs, Diwali is feted as the day that the sixth founding Sikh Guru, or revered teacher, Guru Hargobind, was released from captivity by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir; and
WHEREAS, For Jains, Diwali marks the anniversary of the attainment of moksha, or liberation, by Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras (the great teachers of Jain dharma), at the end of his life in 527 B.C.; and
WHEREAS, For Buddhists, especially Newar Buddhists, Diwali is commemorated as Ashok Vijayadashami, the day the great Emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism as his faith; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly recognizes this year’s Diwali festival on Sunday, October 27, 2019, and encourages Californians to take part in this joyous day of celebration; and be it further
Resolved, That the Assembly recognizes the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali and in observance of Diwali, the festival of lights, expresses its deepest respect for Indian Americans and the Indian diaspora throughout the world on this significant occasion; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.