Greetings for Diwali 2007
Friday 9th November 2007The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent a message of greeting to the Hindu community for their celebration of the festival of Diwali.
Dr Williams praised the Hindu Community for their contribution to so many areas of life in this country, and also expressed the hope that Christians and Hindus "should renew and further develop the local and national frameworks within which we can explore and appreciate our common and our distinctive characteristics".
The full text of the greeting:
Dear Hindu friends,
I have much pleasure in writing to greet you and the wider Hindu community on the occasion of your celebration of the festival of Diwali.
The desire and the ability to celebrate is a profound part of the human personality and is a gift of God in creation. When celebration is from a perspective of love of God and is in thanksgiving for the blessings that we receive from God, then it is all the more to be welcomed and encouraged. I congratulate you on the way in which you have brought the celebration of the festival of Diwali to the communities of this country and have enabled the perspective of faith to be more widely appreciated.
The Hindu communities have brought so much to the life of this country, and in so many different aspects. In business, education, culture and religion, Hindus have led the way in demonstrating what it means to be a lively, integrated and distinctive community to the great benefit of all. It is my hope that especially at this time of year, this contribution should be more widely recognised and acknowledged.
Each of our festivals has its own distinctive character and meaning and is rooted in our respective understandings of the nature of God. But Diwali, coming as it does when Christians are approaching the season of Advent and Christmas, provides an opportunity to celebrate those things that we hold in common. It is my hope that Christians and Hindus should renew and further develop the local and national frameworks within which we can explore and appreciate both our common and our distinctive characteristics.
I look forward to the year ahead in the hope and expectation that the light which is celebrated at Diwali will illuminate the relationships between our communities to the great benefit of all in this country.