More news on Thaipusam including football team kavadis

February 9th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Penang (The Star):

Visitors to this year’s Thai­pusam festival had a taste of English Premier League action when fans of the game carried football-inspired kavadis. [unsuitable!]

Two die-hard football fans were spotted with kavadis bearing the emblem of their favourite teams – Manchester United (MU) and Liverpool.

A kavadi bearer, who only wanted to be known as Rosnathan, was carrying Liverpool’s red and white crest from a temple at Lorong Kulit to the hilltop temple in Waterfall Road to give thanks to Lord Muruga for the birth of his son on Jan 3.

A Liverpool fan showing his love for the team as he makes his way to the hilltop temple carrying the kavadi in Penang Sunday while (below) Manchester United fan does the same.

The kavadi, measuring more than three metres high, bore Liverpool city’s symbol – the Liver bird.

According to his friend of 15 years, Chris­topher Anthony Samy, the prison warden had been a Liverpool fan for more than four years and hoped his son would share his passion for the team.

“I am a Red Devil (MU) fan but I helped him make the kavadi because we are good friends,” he said, adding that the foam kavadi took about a week to complete.

A Manchester United fan does the same.

English tourist Claire Chuah said she was surprised that the EPL was popular in Malay­sia.

“In Britain, football is a passion but I did not expect it to be the same half way around the world.

“It’s so interesting how much of a fan these guys are, incorporating their love for the club with their religious beliefs,” the hardcore MU fan said.

Johor and Ipoh (The Star):

The blazing sun did not stop thousands of Hindus who offered prayers for Thaipusam.

The kavadi bearers walked for about two kilometres from the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple in Jalan Ungku Puan in the city centre to the Arulmigu Thandayuthapani Temple in Jalan Kuil.

Processions were also held from temples in Taman Seri Skudai and another near Plaza Angsana.

Pious: Devotees returning to the Sri Muniswarar Temple after a kavadi procession in Johor Baru Sunday.

N. Malini, 36, and her family were among those who offered prayers at the Sri Muniswarar Temple yesterday.

“My husband M. Vinod, 41, and my son V. Rakesh will shave their heads to offer their hair to the Lord.

“After that, all of us, including our two daughters, aged eight and 11, will join the paal kudam (milk pot) and kavadi bearers in a procession,” she said at the temple here yesterday.

Zohreh Karbassi from Iran got to learn a bit more about Thaipusam when she visited the temple.

“I heard about the piercing of one’s body with sharp objects and I decided to come and have a look,” said the 34-year-old doctor who was with her husband Soheil Sabri, 36, and friend Ala Amirfazli, 25.

Gaily-coloured stalls selling drinks, snacks, toys, clothes and religious paraphernalia were also set-up near the temples.

In IPOH, over 100,000 devotees were at the Kallumai Arul Subramaniar Temple at Gunung Cheroh for the festival.

Various religious rituals, including a procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Sungai Pari to the Subramaniar Temple took place.

Traffic congestions were reported in the city following closures in stages of several roads leading to the Subramaniar Temple.

Batu Caves (The Star):

Despite the scorching sun, more than a million people have thronged the temple in Batu Caves since Saturday to celebrate Thaipusam.

Thousands of devotees carried brightly-decorated ornate frames known as kavadi, some decorated with peacock feathers and garlands. Others carried milk pots.

Devotees carrying milk pots on their heads while making their way to the hilltop Batu Caves temple in Kuala Lumpur during Thaipusam sUNday. Braving the heat and human traffic, devotees carried out the Hindu rites and fulfilled their vows. The annual festival drew a crowd of 1.2 million. — S.S. KANESAN / The Star

The rituals were performed as acts of penance and to offer thanks to Lord Muruga, to fulfil vows and to repent for past sins.

Chants of “Vel! Vel!” and the rhythm of traditional drums followed the kavadi bearers.

The temple took a carnival-like atmosphere with stalls selling traditional Indian food and drinks, framed copper images of Hindu deities, religious literature and music discs.

Thaipusam marks the birth of Lord Muruga, the youngest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

For penance and gratitude: Devotees bearing kavadi and milk pots participating in the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves Sunday.

The festival also marked an occasion when Parvati gave Muruga a lance so that he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

Sri Mahamariamman Devasthanam Temple chairman Datuk R. Nadarajah said many people took advantage of Thaipusam falling on a Sunday to visit the temple.

“In previous years, Thaipusam fell on a weekday ,” he said.

The National Blood Bank and the Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor organised blood donation and organ pledging campaigns.

Massive celebration: Kavadi bearers walking up the steps to the temple at Batu Caves Sunday.

South African Sonja Gay, 47, and her husband Patrick Gay, 48, who were at the temple grounds, were amazed at the festival.

“This is so fascinating and we’ve never seen anything like it before! We plan to learn more about Thaipusam,” said Sonja, who blended in with the crowd in her Punjabi suit.

Patrick, who has been to India, said celebrations in Malaysia were grander than in India.

Oh Jun, 40, from Korea, did not mind climbing up the 272 steps to the temple.

“I was told there is a very sacred place up there and I want to see for myself why so many people brave the heat to climb up,” sai d Oh Jun.

Kuantan (NST):

Hindus and tourists celebrated Thaipusam at the Sri Sithi Vinayagar temple in Jalan Bukit Ubi here, where some 150 devotees fulfilled their vows by carrying kavadi and paal kudam (milk pots).

Preparations for the 3km procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Kemunting began at 6am.

About 6,000 devotees attended prayers at the temple before lunch was served at 1pm. Teruntum state assemblyman Chang Hong Seong joined the luncheon.

“This celebration is a crowd-puller. I will work with hoteliers in the state to bring more tourists to witness the festivity,” he said.

“It is not only about the culture, but also the variety of food served on this auspicious day.”

Some 8,000 devotees followed the Sri Sithi Vinayagar temple chariot yesterday at 7pm through several housing areas before returning to the temple at midnight.

Batu Caves and Ipoh (NST):

The chanting of “vel, vel” rose above Batu Caves yesterday as an estimated 1.2 million Hindu devotees and visitors thronged the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple for Thaipusam.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the three-day festival was not only an auspicious time for Hindus, but also a well-known tourist attraction.

“I’m glad there were no untoward incidents,” he said.

More than 1,000 policemen oversaw traffic, safety and security, as a steady stream of devotees and visitors braved the steep 272-step climb to the Lord Murugan temple inside the cave.

There were also about 600 stalls selling an assortment of delicacies, souvenirs, prayer items, clothing and accessories, among others.

Thaipusam is celebrated mostly by the Tamils on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai when the pusam (star) is at its zenith (highest point).

The festival commemorates the birthday of Lord Murugan, the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati, and the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (lance) to vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

Kavadi attam is a penance performed by the devotees. Many carry the kavadi to seek the deity’s help in averting any calamity, while the rest do so to fulfil personal vows.

Among those present yesterday were Indian High Commissioner Ashok Kantha, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, MIC secretary-general and Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Federal Territory MIC chief and Deputy FT Minister Datuk M. Saravanan, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany, Wanita MIC chief Datin Paduka Komala Krishnamoorthy and former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam.

In Ipoh, about 50,000 Hindus gathered at the Arulmigu Subramania Temple in Gunung Cheroh yesterday.

They had travelled from Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur with their families to pay homage to Lord Muruga and fulfil their vows.

New Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said he was impressed with the ease and security in which the Hindu community was able to perform their religious obligations. [alamak! don’t tell me he never visited Thaipusam function before as a tourist before this…]

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6 comments

  1. Swarnabhumi says:

    One of the most STUPID thing an Indian can do to disgrace his religion is to carry a Liverpool or Manchester United ” kavadi”. Looks like some fools even do penance for their football club to win! For heaven sake we already have enough mockery and stupidity during Thaipusam. PLEASE DO NOT ADD MORE.
    If you want to carry Beckham or any other footballer on your shoulder and run around your house compound , That’s fine !
    The Indians continue to make mockery of HINDUISM (Sanathana Dharma) , one of the most systematic and scientific religion on earth! Without understanding the underlying principles , the religion festivals have been converted into a fiesta.
    For the sake of the religion or more aptly said Way of Life which is more than 5000 years old , please keep hobbies, sports stars,actress, actors , politicians and other irrelevant elements away.

  2. Swarnabhumi says:

    “Datuk Zambry was impressed with the ease and security…….blaa blaa blaa…”

    Looks like Perak has a ” MB” from UK , USA or Papua New Guinea ………
    He talks as though he his visiting Thaipusam grounds for the first time.

    Hopefully it won’t take him another 50 years to know what the Perakians wnt for their state. If he loses his “snatched seat” fast , I won’t be surprised for a man with such “limited knowledge” about fellow Malaysians.

    Wish and pray, we can get more intelligent people to lead us towards a better future!

  3. SURIA VARMAN says:

    For GOD sake, don’t these people know how to differentiate between religious matters and earthly things…how would others view Thaipusam in future especially the younger generation. Some things don’t need modernization, leave it behind. This is just the beginning..won’t be surprised if others follow heed as well in next year’s Thaipusam and before you know it, Thaipusan will look like EPL with all kinds of FC logos…

  4. manimahalai says:

    Oh my god this is the most idiotic kavadi i have ever seen in my lyf,dont they have a common sense to use? kavadi is taken to fulfil the vow that they have asked lord murugan how pethetic can they be? Thaipusam is for lord murugan not for manchester united, by carrying a manchester united kavadi they are not going to achieve anything, so i suggest by next year the nonsense will stop.If you want to take kavadi take it for LORD MURUGAN ONLY that is the meaning of
    T H A I P U S A M.

  5. Every nation has a culture, customs and habits different from one another. Sometimes one of them seemed strange and unusual in the eyes of other nations, some are looking good and extraordinary.

  6. RICHARD REDDY says:

    PEOPLE ARE FREE TO PRAY AS THEY WANT WITH LIVERPOOL-MANCHESTER UNITED ETC IT HOW COMFORTABLE THEY FEEL
    THE LORD IS IN EVERTHING AND EVERYBODY