Heritage Celebrations


October 22, 2017
Each year, the Mayor and First Lady welcome New York City's South Asian and Indo-Caribbean community to Gracie Mansion in honor of Diwali, the festival of lights. The 2017 event featured table performer Kaumil Shah, who has traveled the world playing the tabla with the Rhythm Riders in India and Talavya. Additionally, music in the tent was performed by DJ Rekha, named "Ambassador of Bhangra" by The New York Times.

An invocation and ceremonial lighting of the Diya was done by Dr. Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America. Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray also recognized comedian Hari Kondabolu with a proclamation. Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based, Queens-raised comic who The New York Times has called "one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today."


Audio Description: Watch the Diwali event livestream as First Lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor Bill De Blasio welcome the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean community to Gracie Mansion and honor Hari Kondabolu with a proclamation.

Watch the 2017 Diwali Celebration Livestream

Read the 2016 Diwali Celebration Transcript

In the News

The Teal Mango: Hari Kondabolu Honored at Mayor Bill de Blasio's Diwali Party

India Abroad: NYC Mayor, First Lady celebrate Diwali at Gracie Mansion

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