Letter to the Editor: Embracing Our Neighbors

Dear Editor:

Chester County’s strong economy, excellent schools, and generous hospitality have attracted a growing
number of immigrants from India. Today, vibrant Indian communities can be found countywide,
including places like East Brandywine, Uwchlan and Upper Uwchlan townships. In several municipalities,
persons of Indian descent – both immigrant and American-born – now comprise the largest ethnic
minority. We welcome them as friends, neighbors, and business associates.

To further extend our embrace of those who are so richly contributing to the growth and diversity of our
region, I’m writing to urge all school districts in Chester County to establish Diwali as an in-service day
for teachers. The Unionville-Chadds Ford and Great Valley districts have already taken this step.

Diwali, the “Festival of Lights,” symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness in all areas of life. The
holiday emphasizes the importance of self-growth, happiness, and doing what is right. I had the privilege
of celebrating this joyous holiday for the first time shortly after I took office in 2013, when I was invited
to a Diwali event at the Lionville YMCA.

Since that first introduction, I have been honored to support the annual Diwali Food Drive, which has
collected over 160,000 pounds of food for the Chester County Food Bank and several other food banks
serving the county. In addition to Diwali service projects, celebrations like last year’s Diwali Mela in
Hickory Park have opened the holiday to everyone, greatly enhancing our county’s heritage and culture.

Establishing Diwali as an in-service day will allow greater numbers of people to share in the holiday and
demonstrate Chester County’s commitment to welcoming people from around the world.

Becky Corbin, State Representative
155th Legislative District