Antananarivo [Madagascar], November 15 (ANI): Minister of Culture of Madagascar, Presidents and prominent members of the Indian community, Ambassadors of several countries including United States, Russia, Japan, European Union, South Africa, Cd'A of Iran among others, UN country representatives and prominent Malagasy people joined Ambassador Abhay Kumar at his residence to celebrate Diwali in Antananarivo on November 14 in Madagascar.
This is the first time that Diwali was celebrated with the participation of the high dignitaries in the Indian Ocean island which has over 20,000 members of the Indian diaspora.
The occasion was celebrated by members of all faiths including Hindus, Khojas, Bohras, Ismailis, Sunnis, Christians, among others showing the growing universal appeal of Diwali, the festival of victory of light over darkness, across the world.
Speaking on the occasion the Minister of Culture said: "I would like to extend Diwali greetings on behalf of the Government of Madagascar."
He thanked Ambassador Abhay Kumar for organising Diwali celebrations in Antananarivo.
India's Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, Abhay Kumar, said: "Diwali is an occasion to celebrate light over darkness, hope over despair and love over hatred. It is a festival that brings together people of all faiths and communities and unites humanity."
A cultural group consisting of ITEC alumni performed Indian dance on the occasion.
In a separate event, the Hindu Samaj of Madagascar also organised a cultural programme at the newly built grand temple hall in Antananarivo which included dance performances by children, Garba by women among others. (ANI)