Wearing a special skirt exclusively made for her by India-born designer Naeem Khan who also attended the event, Michelle Obama then got down to a more serious note at the reception that followed. She said, “We’ve celebrated this holiday here at the White House every year since Barack took office.
“Diwali,” she said, is celebrated by members of some of the world’s oldest religions not just here in America but across the globe. “It’s a time to come together with friends and family, often with dancing and good food. But Diwali is also a time for contemplation and reflection. It’s a time for us to think about our obligations to our fellow human beings, particularly those who are less fortunate than we are.” Showing her understanding of the festival, she said, “as we light the diya — the lamp — we recommit ourselves to the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil.”