‘Diya’, ‘Saal mubarak’, Obama strikes chord with Hindi words

Mumbai, Nov 6 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Saturday struck a chord with Indians as he used Hindi words such as ‘diya’ and ‘Saal Mubarak’ while addressing a gathering of over 400 business honchos from both countries.

‘Families are lighting diyas and giving thanks for the blessings and looking ahead for the new year,’ said Obama.

Obama went on to greet the gathering by saying ‘Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak’.

The US president is on a four-day visit that began Saturday.

On Sunday, President Obama will visit the Holy Name School, Colaba, interact with students, celebrate Diwali, probably light a candle and view a dance programme by students.

Obama will also address select students at St Xavier’s College and later meet some agriculturists.

Obama, who is accompanied by his wife Michelle, will depart Sunday afternoon for New Delhi for two days of hectic engagements, including talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He leaves for Indonesia Tuesday.

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