The recent floods have had a unifying effect among nationals, says Indian High Commissioner Bishwadip Dey, and this, he said, represents the true spirit of Divali.
He was speaking at Divali Nagar celebrations on Sunday night.
Dey said: "I would like to first and foremost extend my prayers to all the recent flood victims. The inclement weather and flooding have caused widespread destruction, it has, however, also unified the country in their resilience. At a time of crisis, it was commendable to see first and second responders, NGOs, religious organisations, relief workers, volunteers and the Good Samaritans of the Trinbagonian society unite to bring aid and relief to these victims. Some of whom are present among us this evening."
Dey said nationals showed the true spirit of Divali when they came out and offered assistance.
The diplomat, whose country shares many Hindu cultural celebrations, said: "When we speak of Divali, we do not just speak of its traditional aspect. We refer to the intrinsic values that the festival of light represents. In the last few days, I have witnessed a full display of these values, where people irrespective of their race, religion and ethnicity came together as One. This friends, is the true essence of Divali."
Dey said he has the privilege of celebrating this pious period in T&T "where the evening air is filled with the same excitement and jubilation as in India."
"It is truly heart-warming and commendable to witness these grand celebrations where communities come together, children enact ancient tales in their Ramleela performances and cities are illuminated with the twinkling lights of the season. During my stay here for over two years, I have found the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) an active and reliable partner for the High Commission of India.
In existence for 54 years, the NCIC has been a pioneer in the preservation of Indian culture and the unification of the Indian diaspora nationally and regionally. Born out of the vision of the NCIC executive committee, the Divali Nagar stands as a testament to their assiduous efforts."
"Today, when we speak of the Divali Nagar, we refer to a grand celebration, adorned with the twinkling lights of the season, the soft humming of bhajans, the bustling booths and the warm aroma of T&T’s cuisine," he said.