Wednesday, January 23, 2008

THAIPUSAM -- A Celebration of Faith

Today commemorates the day Lord Siva's consort, the powerful goddess Parvathi, gives her son, Murugan, the vel (lance) to vanquish three demons and their large army which were plaguing the world.

Thaipusam falls on a full moon day in the auspicious 10th Tamil month of Thai when the constellation of Pusam, the star of well-being, rises over the eastern horizon.

For me, I often think of the Batu Caves temple near the city where devotees converge for as long as I can remember.

I was there for three consecutive times as a young reporter assigned to cover the festival. At one occasion, I interviewed a priest there who told me why and how he embraced hinduism.

The first time I was there, I almost fainted when I saw - at very close range -- devotees with their bodies pierced as they made their way up to the caves. It was an experience.

The Batu Caves temple began to attract devotees as early as 1892 when two Tamils (among the earlyTamils who migrated to colonial Malaya) trekked up the ancient limestone hill and planted a vel in the cave.

The cave now houses a temple dedicated to Lord Murugan.

The vel, made of metal and shaped like a lance, symbolises Murugan who is also known as Velan.

Today, the tallest statue of Lord Murugan stands at the foot of the hill.

To my friends celebrating Thaipusam and those enjoying the holiday, may I wish everyone a Happy Thaipusam!

6 comments:

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Sis Ena
Yes I'm ready to vote for DUN Jitra and Parlimen Kubang Pasu, and for the first time ever. Checked the SPR website, and yes they have made the necessary changes to my locality (from Setiawangsa previously).

The feel good factor for me is that PLUS (?) has recently created new entry to and exit from the NS highway, making my journey to/from work a total bliss as the new entry/exit routes bypass the Jitra town and the hellish traffic jam. Heaven ...

aMiR

Rocky's Bru said...

Ena!

A young reporter asked me if I'd ever been assigned to cover a Thaipusam celebration when I was reporting. I can't remember if I had covered it once or more than once.

In any case, do you remember the year when the stage they built for Samy vellu at the Batu Caves collapsed?

Wow, that was a real good picture. I can't remember which year that was but I have always associated the pictture with Thaipusam celebrations.

Happy Thaipusam to all Malaysians. I hope Uncle Sam's political stage collapse for good soon. Nothing personal, it's just that he's been hanging on too long to his race's shredded dreams.

Anonymous said...

dear nuraina,
It is happenin of you to inform your readers of the Thaipusam event.
Your muhibahness is to be much praised.
Bornfree.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

aMiR:good for ou aMiR!

Rocky: Covering events with huge mass of people is a must for rookies.

YES! I was right there when the stage collapsed under the weight of Samy Vellu and others.
I didnt want to mention it in my posting....

anyway back at Batu Caves, it was a little kelamkabut when the platform fell.
I can't remember the year, though.

Bornfree: Oh...thank u... actually, it was a natural thing to do.

Miqdad said...

It is good that Thaipusam has been made a holiday in KL and other states. But my friend studying in Manipal, India, says that Thaipusam is not a holiday in India. Imagine that. Just something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Not only you. Samy Vellu almost fainted when he was told that 1 million Hindus did NOT attend batu Caves this year. But he will not give up and we can expect more circuses (he will ask Melaka to make it a holiday) but not the bread for poor Malays, Chinese or Indians.