Describing Deepavali as a message of hope to humanity, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Thursday said the festival of lights was a time to remember how cultural diversity had enriched his country.

In a message on the eve of Deepavali, Mr. Miliband described it as a wonderful festival of great significance to “our friends in South Asia” and the various communities in the U.K.

Deepavali "brings us together to celebrate a spirit of companionship and happiness, and this is also a good moment for us to remember just how that diversity and variety enriches life in Britain today,” he said.

He said the festival "also reaffirms a clear message of hope to humanity, as signified through the imagery of bringing light into darkness. And it comes at a time when we all face enormous global challenges and need to stand together“.

The House of Commons on Wednesday celebrated Deepavali, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown saying it was an occasion to reflect upon the great contribution of the Hindu community to Britain and the world.

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, said the Indian community, by far the biggest diaspora, has acted as “great driver of change“.

He said the British Parliament has become “more inclusive and more representative now.”

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