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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.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thaipusam 2011

Thaipusam this year was on January 20.  I thought that I should visit the Batu Caves to share some of the photos here.
The crowd was already there and the people were inching their way both ways on the stairway.
A large screen was hanging so that the people could have a better view of the happenings there.

This is only my 2nd time at the Caves and I could recognize some of the devotees from last year fulfilling their vows again this year. 
With the kind of weather we have here, it's a good idea to have devotees well hydrated.
This lady was sitting there seemingly oblivious to the crowd.  At places like this, one is never sure if the person is fulfilling their vows or just plain loony.

Among the many young devotees fulfilling their vows.
While most of the children were carrying milk kavadis, this young man had taken a bigger challenge.
I overheard this young devotee asking his father to attach the stalk of neem leaves to his pot of milk.  I think the leaves were given to him along the way, by another devotee.
I used to belief that the devotees go into a sort of a trance like state to enable them to carry their kavadis...

... but seeing how conscious the devotees are during the whole process, I now think that it is a question of 'mind over matter'.   The person preparing the devotee also needs to be experienced in what they are doing.

Having said that, I need to add that the energy, exuberance, music and chants that take place there can cause some people to get into a frenzy, or enter into a trance, and become unconscious of their surroundings as I witnessed happening to the young lady below:

After awhile her friend managed to bring her back to consciousness, but both she and friend appeared extremely exhausted after that.
As always, crowds provide an opportunity for any enterprising person to make some money.
This shows that photographers can create their own fun wherever they go.
Sometimes I wonder if clowns have a place at a religious event, but then again, who am I to judge?
These people know their target audience.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness," they often say, but even a religious function such as this generates so much litter.  Hindus are not alone in this.  Muslims, Christians, Buddhists in fact any religious function where crowds gather generates large quantities of litter, what more non-religious ones.

Maybe this is a blessing as now we have a common issue to discuss in any inter-faith forum, and it does not involve any 'fundamental doctrine' issues which could become very sensitive. 


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