Indian community gathers for Diwali celebrations in Taipei

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Indian expats, Taiwanese and guests of all nationalities gathered at the American Club Taipei on Friday for a Diwali celebration hosted by the group Indians in Taiwan (IiT).

Diwali celebrations, also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, saw Indian and Taiwanese officials light a large lamp, while others made offerings to Ganesh before traditional Indian dancers took the stage .

IiT Founder Priya Lalwani Purswaney said in an opening speech that Diwali is one of India’s most important festivals and has been officially celebrated in Taiwan for the third consecutive year.

“And we are very grateful to the Foreign Office for giving us the opportunity to do so,” Purswaney said.

Also in attendance was Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), who said the event demonstrated the strong friendship and close cultural exchange between Taiwan and India.

“As many of you know, I feel a very special affinity with India, which is why I am always eager to promote our relationship whenever the opportunity arises,” Wu said.

Over the past decade, Taiwan and India have naturally developed a strong partnership based on trust and shared values, which has led to cooperation in areas such as trade, critical supply chains and l education, according to Mr. Wu.

“And that’s what I’ll say that will make a lot of other countries very jealous…I love India,” Wu said.

Indian national Sana Hashmi, a postdoctoral fellow at the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation think tank, told CNA that she believes relations between Taiwan and India have improved significantly over the past three years.

“It’s common challenges for sure and the realization that they have common interests,” she said. “And it is important that India and Taiwan look at each other to cooperate and find ways to strengthen cooperation.”

Taipei-based Indian artist Vandana Mengane, who also attended the festive event, told CNA it made her feel like she was celebrating the festival in India.

“For me, Diwali is always with family and friends, no matter where we stay in which corner of the world. At home we do all the rituals, which we usually do in India, and when we go out, we have such events and it gives us the same feeling as if we were back in India,” Mengane said.

It was the third time that the IiT and the Taipei-India Music and Culture Center held Diwali celebrations in collaboration with the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The inaugural event was held at Taipei Guest House in 2020.

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