Schools to stay closed in 7 districts of New York state on Diwali day

Schools to stay closed in 7 districts of New York state on Diwali day

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NEW YORK(TIP): Seven school districts in
 New York state will reportedly stay closed on November seven, the day 
of most popular Hindu festival Diwali; while another one has announced 
“student recess” on November seven.

Schools in East Meadow School District 
(Westbury), East Williston Union Free School District (Old Westbury), 
Half Hollow Hills Central School District (Dix Hills), Herricks Public 
Schools (New Hyde Park), Hicksville Public Schools (Hicksville), Jericho
 School District (Jericho), Syosset Central School District (Syosset), 
will stay closed on November seven (Diwali day); while Port Washington 
Union Free School District (Port Washington) has announced “student 
recess” on November seven; reports suggest.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed,
 who has been actively supporting inclusion of Diwali holiday in New 
York state schools, in a statement, called closing schools on Diwali day
 by these New York school districts “a step in the positive direction”. 
He urged all public school districts and private-charter-independent 
schools in New York state to close on Diwali; as it was important to 
meet the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu pupils.

Zed, who is President of Universal 
Society of Hinduism, indicated that since it was important for Hindu 
families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children; 
closing schools on Diwali would ensure that and would also display how 
respectful and accommodating New York schools were to their faith.

If schools had declared other religious 
holidays, why not Diwali, Rajan Zed asked. Holidays of all major 
religions should be honored, and no one should be penalized for 
practicing their religion, Zed added.

Zed suggested that all New York state 
schools, public-private-charter-independent, to seriously look into 
declaring Diwali as an official holiday, thus recognizing the 
intersection of spirituality and education. Zed noted that awareness 
about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would 
make New York students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened 
citizens of tomorrow.

Rajan Zed urged New York Governor Andrew
 M. Cuomo, New York State Education Department Board of Regents 
Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and New York State Commissioner of Education 
MaryEllen Elia; to work towards adding Diwali as an official holiday in 
all the 733 public school districts and persuading the 
private-charter-independent schools to follow.

Zed states that Hinduism is rich in 
festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. 
Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and 
lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.


Hinduism is oldest and third largest 
religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh 
(liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus 
in USA.


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