Welcome to my Kuala Lumpur

This is my way of sharing my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories & experiences

as well as other bits & pieces of information I have of

growing up in Kuala Lumpur.

Your comments & suggestions to make this blog your reference to all things KL would be very much appreciated.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)

On Wednesday (17NOV10), Muslims in Malaysia celebrated Eid-ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice.  It is the greater of the two Eids celebrated by Muslims (although it doesn't appear that way here in Malaysia) and commemorates the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim AS (Abraham).  It also marks the end of the Hajj or annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Here as elsewhere in the Muslim world, animals are slaughtered as sacrifice and the flesh is distributed amongst near of kin and the poor.  I was at a surau near my house to witness the event.

The surau at Medan Idaman is also known as the Surau Arab due to the large number of Middle Eastern worshipers who come here.  The Eid khutbah (sermon) here was in Arabic and English. 

Cows waiting to be slaughtered.  Some children trying to feed them.  For some of them, this is probably the first time they are seeing cows up close.
I wanted to take a shot of the little boy because of his ethnic clothes but the two older ones insisted on being photographed together.
The two older boys were teasing the younger one for being dressed like a Pakistani.  I don't understand Arabic but I could feel the essence of the teasing and it also helped that among the words used was the word 'Bakistani'.
Little holes like the above have been dug to assist in the slaughter...
... with one large hole to bury any unwanted parts like entrails and etc.
Weighing scales are also ready for distribution of the meat...
... as are cutting tools.
Of course one must make sure that the knives are sharp.

Slaughtering in progress.
A total of 8 cows were slaughtered here, a relatively small number when compared with the Masjid Pakistan in Sentul where over 20 cows and a similar number of goats were sacrificed.  The crowd witnessing became less and less for the subsequent cows as people began to get involved in the skinning and preparation of the meat for distribution.  I did take photos of the whole event, however I think it best not to display them here as there may be those who find it offensive.

The supplier also provided T-shirts for the volunteers.
A child covers his nose as one of the cows entrails was being cleaned.

The meat has been chopped, weighed and packed ready for distribution.
Traditionally the meat is divided into three portions, with one portion for the person on whose behalf the sacrifice is performed, one portion for kin and relatives and one portion for the poor and needy.  The meat is distributed raw.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brickfields Revisited - Toddy Shop

When I did my postings on Brickfields earlier, I thought that I had covered a good portion of the area.  As I was not aware of a toddy shop being there, I was surprised at a recent news paper report that the toddy shop is to be demolished to make way for development.  While at Brickfields, I thought I'd check it out.  I did have to ask for directions though.
The toddy shop is a little nondescript place at one end of Jalan Berhala.
I have passed here a number of times on my walk about, but as the place only opens at 10.30 a.m. I didn't notice it before.  The building looks similar to the one in Chow Kit that was around many years ago.
This is a Government Toddy Shop i.e. not just licensed, but owned and operated by the Customs' Department, a relic of our colonial past.
By the way operating hours are between 10.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m., so don't think of trying this place for some late night boozing session.
The furniture consists only of long wooden benches and table.
I suppose if regular chairs were provided, it would be easier to throw them at each other. (I know I'm being judgmental here, but hey, I'm no saint.)
Serving utensils are only plastic mugs.
I recall that in those days in Chow Kit, there used to be some enterprising people who used to rent out enamel mugs of various sizes.  The owners' sign and the rental price (5c, 10c etc) used to be painted prominently on the mugs.  Business was brisk during the evenings and every morning they had to pick up the mugs belonging to them 
There is a little temple attached to this toddy shop.
The sign says that it is the Sree Maha Kaliamman Kovil, Kuala Lumpur.

The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali.

It is interesting to note that some toddy is offered to the guardian deities there before the shop commences for business for the day.

Toddy is made from the sap of that oozes from the coconut inflorescence and is allowed to ferment naturally.  There is no distillation process involved.  Click here and here for some interesting photos.

Toddy is cheap, about RM1 per liter,  cheaper than what plain iced water (ais kosong) costs in some restaurants and definitely much cheaper than bottled water.  Is it any wonder then that it is the poor man's alcoholic drink of choice.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brickfields Revisited - Little India

When talking of 'Little India' in KL, the Jalan Masjid India area comes to mind. Maybe we can include Lebuh Ampang as well.

However, of late, there has been a lot of fuss about Brickfields being 'Little India'. There is a sizable Tamil population in the Brickfields area, but that is also true of Sentul and there are 'Indian' settlements in Kampung Pandan, Air Panas and Selayang/Batu Caves areas among others.

Anyway, its been a while since I've been to Brickfields, so I decided to pay the place a visit.

Although, the Prime Minister of India has already visited and officiated the area together with our own Prime Minister, the area still seems very much a 'work-in-progress'.
Large designs representing 'kolams' have been painted on the roads.
Kolams are usually done in front of Hindu homes especially in South India.  It is traditionally done using course ground rice flour and provides food for ants, birds and other small creatures.
Street lights have been changed.
A contemporary sculpture of a traditional dancer has been erected there - probably symbolic of embracing modernity while holding on to our culture and traditions. 
A fountain with Indian motifs has been placed at the junction of Jalan Travers and Jalan Tun Sambanthan.
Colorful arches have been erected along part of the road.
Personally, I think that these are a waste of money and will soon turn into an eyesore with bills and posters plastered on them and unlicensed traders using them to display their wares.
This restaurant is being renovated to give it the 'ethnic' look.
Businessmen are quick to capitalize on a good thing.  This is now 'Najib's Corner'.
I chanced upon this lorry delivering banana leaves to the many restaurants here and elsewhere.  Looking at this load, there must be large plantations to provide these quantity of leaves daily.
The Global Indian International School is along Lorong Abdul Samad.  I seem to have missed this school during my earlier post.
The GIIS is established by the Global Indian Foundation, a Singapore based non-profit foundation.  Click here for their website.
I was wondering why these two Catholic Chinese schools have not merged as one when they operated from the same premises.  Then I realized that one is a girls' school while the other is all boys. 
I saw this Malay styled wooden house at the end of Jalan Berhala near the Buddhist Vihara. 
The Nepali guard stationed there was unable to provide any information on the property except to say that the building is currently unoccupied.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz 2

Any visitor to Shah Alam will notice the absence of cinema theaters, karaoke lounges, Magnum or TOTO outlets there.  It is said the HH the late Sultan wanted Shah Alam to be an educational town, especially with the presence of the main campus of the MARA Institute of Technology (now UiTM) there.

It is therefore not surprising that there are branch campuses of 3 universities (UUM, UKM and UTM), a school and teachers quarters along this road commemorating the late Sultan as Crown Prince.
One of the Teachers' Institute quarters.
The primary school along the road.
A poem by our National Laurette, the late Datuk Usman Awang, is prominently displayed on one of the walls of the school.
Another block of Teachers' Institute quarters.

The Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) City Campus is located at the Selangor Foundation (Yayasan Selangor) building.
When Kuala Lumpur was still a part of Selangor, the Mentri Besar (State Chief Minister)'s official residence used to be along this road. 
A block of UKM Students' living quarters.
This road is also making way for more exclusive residences.
A Petronas LPG Station.  One of the few stations dealing solely in LPG in the city.
This station which is besides the LPG station deals in petrol and diesel.
The TH Selborn building is located at the corner of Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz and Jalan Tun Razak.
The TH stands for Tabung Haji, the Pilgrims Fund and Management Board which owns the building.