Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Celebrating Deepavali At Sri Maha Mariamman Temple In Kuala Lumpur

For witnessing a big, traditional Indian holiday like Deepavali, it makes sense to head toward the big, traditional temple in town. For Kuala Lumpur, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is the perfect spot. Put on your fancy sari and let's go.

The grand temple, gopuram proud.

First step, get your pretty puja thali set.

The scene. The next step, line up to say prayers in the most religious section of the temple, the inner sanctum.

More steps, making your rounds to other shrines throughout the temple complex. If you need a little help with your puja, temple priests are there to assist.

All these steps, time for a little lunch break. Hi bird.

It's an intense experience, just ask the girls.

Portrait of a woman in her best celebration makeup.

"I was there!" Plenty of cell phone snaps being taken.

Exit through the gift shop, a branded bag for you to transport your puja items.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Getting Ready For Deepavali In Malaysia

Every fall, Indians celebrate Deepavali, or Diwali, known as the festival of light. Think Christmas for Hindus, a season of family celebration, gift-giving and parties. Malaysia has a large Indian population and it takes its Deepavali seriously. Time to get prepping.

In the Indian neighborhoods of Kuala Lumpur, stores expand into the street, turning shopping into a lively bazaar experience.

Staples of Deepavali, colored rice to use to make a kolam and fireworks (or popping things, since fireworks are banned in Malaysia).

For house decorations, you gotta pickup some festive paper cut-outs.

Maybe also grab a few classic sculptures. A relaxing Ganesh is an easy impulse buy. Just like in the US, some of the biggest movies of the year play during the holiday. Get some snacks and soak up some Bollywood.

Honoring various deities is part of the holiday and is known as performing a puja. A big part of the ritual is elaborate flower leis, all hand strung.

You also need your fancy Deepavali clothes, especially for the kiddies. Snazzy. Wait, how'd that boring Orang putih (white man) get on that regal sign?

And then there's the food, it's always all about the food. Huge feasts, topped with endless, sweet desserts.

Get your supplies and bring on Deepavali!