Washington, DC – Maya Soetoro-Ng, maternal half-sister of President Barack Obama, graced the first ever Indian American inaugural ball to celebrate Obama’s second term in office ahead of his swearing in ceremony, signaling the coming of age of the three million plus member community in the US.
Speaking in the same earnest but calm manner as President Obama, Maya Soetoro-Ng carried the message from the First Family saying, “I am happy to be at places where my family can not be, but they are immensely supportive. They are so happy for the support of the Indian American community.”
“They recognize the value and the role of Indian Americans in propping up this nation and participating in myriad ways and contributing so much in the way of arts, architecture, voice and film, and you name it,” she told journalists at the red carpet rope line welcome at the ballroom door of at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
“Indian Americans are tremendously important and we hope they would be increasingly visible, not only in the government, but also in all parts of American life,” Maya said, adding, “It is certainly a reflection of how important India is and how important Indian Americans are to the fabric of the nation. I would just like to celebrate all of the contributions, artistic, political and so much more, of the Indian American community.”
Hoping that Indian Americans “will be increasingly visible, not only in government, but indeed in all parts of American life,” Maya spoke about the second term for her brother. “It’s very sweet the second time around. We are very proud and can celebrate the accomplishments of the last four years as we also look to the future and the great potential of the next four years.”
The bipartisan event, organized by Indiaspora, a newly formed organization, brought together over 1,200 prominent Indian Americans, Asian Americans, dignitaries and well-wishers.
Republican Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee, attended along with lawmakers Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu Congresswoman, Ami Bera, the only Indian American in the current Congress, and veteran Congress members Mike Honda and Judy Chu. Governors Jack Markell of Delaware and Martin O’Malley of Maryland were also present.