‘Tens of thousands ‘smash’ their egos


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2003

PENANG: Tens of thousands of devotees smashed coconuts and gave offerings to Lord Muruga as the silver chariot made its way through the streets of George Town yesterday. 

Broken coconuts along the road to indicate the the symbolic smashing of one's ego during Thaipusam

A huge crowd had gathered at Penang Street near the Kovil Veedu (temple house) at 7am to send the deity off on its annual pilgrimage to the Nattukotai Chettiar’s temple in Waterfall Road. 

Supplicants, mostly Hindus and Chinese, joined forces to smash heaps of coconuts as a symbolic act of destroying one’s ego while tourists watched in amazement at the mysticism of the festival. 

Fifty-four mini-kavadi bearers led the procession that briefly stopped at several spots along the route for devotees to make their offerings to the deity. 

Along the Waterfall Road, some 120 thaneer panthals (refreshment stalls) were set up to servedevotees. 

A couple from New Zealand, Professor Emeritus Fred Einstein and his wife Judy, woke up early to catch the start of the procession at Penang Street and were fascinated by what they saw. 

“An important part of Malaysia is the diversity of its people and religion, plants and animals which are all very fascinating,” said the chemistry professor, whose father had known and played music together with their namesake, the famous scientist Albert Einstein.  

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