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US Postal service launches Diwali Stamp: Seven-Year-Long efforts of Indian Americans get recognized as Cultural Holiday

The release was attended by India’s Consul General Riva Ganguly, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and India’s former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri

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October 10, 2016: The seven-year-long effort of Indian Americans to get Diwali recognised as a cultural holiday has finally paid off. The US Postal service has launched on October 6, the stamp with an Indian Diya or lamp on its face, lit against a sparkling background and the words “Forever USA 2016” written below, at the Indian Consulate.

Diya in the stamp is photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce of Connecticut and design is prepared by Greg Breeding of Virginia, under the direction of William Gicker of Washington, project’s art director. The release was attended by India’s Consul General Riva Ganguly, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and India’s former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri, reported PTI.

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According to Ms Maloney, “It has taken many years of hard work and advocacy but the light has finally triumphed. Today Diwali joins the ranks of other major religions and cultural holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Eid.”

“Since the start of the American Revolution, destiny beckoned the US and India to be the closest of allies and the stamp represents nothing short of respectful inclusive indivisibility within America and between the two sovereigns,” said Ravi Batra, Indian-American lawyer to the Press Agency.

Pritha Mehra, Vice President of the US postal service, said, “It was an honour to issue the Diwali stamp and we hope that these lights will light up millions of cards and letters as they make their journey through the mail stream.”

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Ranju Batra, Chairman of the Diwali stamp project, said that it was a dream come true. “Now for the first time, there is a stamp that celebrates Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists as Americans forever. The Diwali stamp will be a matter of pride for generations to come,” she said.

The approval of stamp has been the result of diligent endeavours and resilient commitment of members of Diwali stamp project, the group behind all the efforts, and meetings with Prime minister, Narendra Modi and plea to Barack Obama, President of United States.

– Prepared by Jeenat Grover of NewsGram. Twitter: @JeenatG

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)