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Published: Monday January 28, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 3:09:00 PM

Foreigners amazed and inspired by kavadi carriers

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BATU CAVES: Twenty years ago, Peter and Anita Schieder visited Batu Caves during Thaipusam and were so fascinated by the experience that they vowed to return someday.

Now retired and with their children all grown up, the couple from Germany has made another trip to Malaysia to experience Thaipusam again.

“We were just so captivated by the sights, sounds and smells that we experienced the last time we were here, we just had to come again,” said Anita, 71, a retired secretary, when met at the Sri Mahamariamman temple yesterday.

Her husband Peter, 65, said he planned to bring their children and friends for a visit to Malaysia around this time next year so that they too could experience the event.

Similarly awed, Vanine Najaryam, 23, said that she was overwhelmed by the devotion shown by those carrying the kavadi up the temple steps.

“I came expecting to take some good pictures and go back, but was really touched by what I saw.

“I have never seen anything like this. The way the devotees endure the scorching heat while carrying the heavy kavadis, and their friends who help them and spur them on all the way up the steps, is just so amazing,” said the interior designer from Armenia who is in Malaysia for her internship.

German lawyer Helmut Krueger, 52, who has been working here for five years, said that even though it was not his first Thaipusam, the experience had not lost its appeal for him.

“I have been here a few times and have even climbed up the steps of the cave, though not on Thaipusam.

“But seeing the kavadi carriers with their piercings and in a trance still shocks me,” he said, adding that he would like to try carrying a kavadi during Thaipusam someday.

Related Stories: Tampoi temple gets RM500,000 from Johor Government Thaipusam celebrations with a political slant The Star's deputy exec editor completes his journey of faith Najib extends greetings to Malaysian Hindus Men carry kavadi as act of devotion for answered prayers KTMB hopes to break national record for non-stop train service

Tags / Keywords: Nation, News, Lifestyle, thaipusam, batu caves

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