28 Mar 2010

Call for Diwali to be made a public holiday

1:05 pm on 28 March 2010

An American Hindu priest is calling on the New Zealand Government to make Diwali a public holiday.

Rajan Zed, noted for having read a Hindu prayer in the US Senate for the first time in 2008, says Diwali is the most important Hindu holy day.

Mr Zed says the estimated 70,000 Hindus in New Zealand want to celebrate the day at home with the family.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says it's unlikely Diwali would become a general public holiday, as there are dates of greater significance in the queue.

Rajan Zed says he'd also like to see guest chaplins from various religions invited to read the opening prayer in Parliament.