Over 100 local Indian Americans joined Roseville, a suburban city of Sacramento in the California State of USA, on Sunday, November 7th at 5 PM to celebrate Diwali 2021 with the Parade of Lights. People, including children starting from a year old to senior citizens across from the greater Sacramento area, participated in the parade. Dressed in traditional Indian attire, with children and family waving, cheering, showcasing their cars with decorated lights depicted the spirit of the Diwali festivity. Many local Americans have also joined the parade.
Diwali is a Hindu Festival of Lights which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jain, Buddhists (Indic tradition), and the festive spirit expressed by those of “any, all and no faith.” Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance." Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness. Sewa Sacramento chapter celebrated the 2nd annual Diwali Parade of Lights at Roseville. Despite the November cold weather local Indian Americans have come from Sacramento suburban cities including Elk Grove, Folsom, Orangevale, Rancho, Rocklin, and Roseville, with their vehicles decorated so well and contributed to lifting the spirit of the local community. Local Indian Americans have spent hours decorating their cars with colorful LEDs for Diwali. Many local Americans who came to take the picture @ the starting point told the organizers that the decorations and lighting were so refreshing & certainly created a positive vibe. Their thumbs-up to show their appreciation was fulfilling.
The event supported Sewa Diwali(www.sewadiwali.org) an initiative with the mission of “Sewa Paramo Dharmah” (i.e. Service to Humanity is Service to Divinity) aims to help the local community by collecting and donating food and winter clothes. 30+ local organizations have come together to support 12 food banks in 10 cities including nearby cities like Yuba City and Chico. Last year the SewaDiwali program supported by 26 organizations donated 2600 lbs of food to 8 food banks in 7 local cities. More than 30 cars were decorated with glittering lights that made the beautiful sky near Fountain and Galleria Mall area look like Heaven wearing jewelry. One of the Roseville natives who saw the parade said “Ah!, It was very cool, put a smile on my face”
Scott Alvord, Roseville city councilman speaking on the occasion said “Tonight it was an honor to be invited to drive in the Sewa Diwali festival of lights parade on a nine-mile loop around Roseville. Roseville has a lot of residents with Indian heritage, and the Sewa group has done some incredible service to those in need in our community. The adults get their children involved in helping with community service, and it's a great example. I have come to know that the Sewa International group gave an incredible amount of food (and more) nationwide. I believe we are here to serve others and they set a great example.”
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley presenting a certification of recognition of October as Hindu Heritage Month and Celebration of Diwali said the parade is a spectacular display.
Sewa Sacramento Chapter Coordinator, Presh Sinha, explained about “Sewa”, “Diwali”, “Sewa Diwali”, and “Sewa USA”, and the purpose of the event to the audience. Roseville Parade lead Prabhakar and Team, received the certification of recognition from Assemblyman on behalf of the community and thanked all the participants, and also facilitated the felicitation of esteemed guests with Diyas & Diwali Sweets.
After passing through the historical downtown and many streets of Roseville, the parade concluded with participants receiving sweets from local establishments The Grand Indian Cuisine and Reliance Supermarket. Organizers and participants appreciated the support of Natarajan Gutta & Mohan Raj for providing delicious sweets to savor the festival celebration. On this occasion, Sewa received a sizable quantity of canned food to donate to the local food banks.
Earlier on Saturday, November 6th Sewa held a similar car parade at the neighboring city, Folsom. Sewa Diwali Folsom Car Parade started at 5:30 PM from Mangini Ranch Elementary School, Folsom Ranch, then reached Vista Del Lago High School, and finally ended at Target Store complex via Folsom downtown at around 7:30 PM. Over 50 Indian Americans who have decorated their cars with Diwali lights joined the Folsom Car Parade. A local resident Devi Singh Karnawat said, “So beautiful to see the Car Parade, great job everyone”. Shivesh Sinha led the Sewa Diwali Car Parade at Folsom. Folsom City Council Member YK Chalam, Indian Association of Sacramento President Bhaskar Vempati, Telugu Association of Greater Sacramento Vice President Prem Jonnala, Samasti President Hari Gadiraju, Dr. Amar Pawar, and several local Sewa volunteers and supporters joined in organizing the Folsom Sewa Diwali Car Parade.