KUALA LUMPUR: This year, the Tamil community were able to usher in the Puthandu New Year in a more celebrative atmosphere while adhering to pandemic guidelines.
“We are very thankful and happy to be able to celebrate and usher in the Tamil New Year at the temple this year.
“Due to the strict movement control order last year, we could only welcome the new year from our homes, ” said Malaysian Hindhudharma Maamandram vice-president Rishi Kumar Vadivelu.
He said it was the first time 24 Tamil non-governmental organisations collaborated to organise a celebration at the temple.
Rishi Kumar, who was the organising chairman, said the event would help preserve the community’s traditions among the younger generation.
“We hope to make it an annual celebration and hold it in Dataran Merdeka next year when the pandemic situation eases.
“As a multiracial country, we hope to better educate our fellow Malaysians on Tamil traditions through these events, ” he said when met at the hall of the Sri Kandaswamy temple in Brickfields where the festivities were held yesterday.
United Malaysian Hindu Voice member V. Linisha Sri, 19, was one of the participants at the celebration.
“I was not able to offer prayers at the temple with my family last year due to the MCO, ” she said.
The college student from Setapak also helped usher guests and presented them with traditional kumkumam and santhanam to be placed on their foreheads.
The event saw traditional Tamil dance and music performances, including kolam and flower garland creation competitions.
Among those present at the event was the Tourism, Culture and Arts Ministry’s culture division secretary Dr Tan Awang Besar.
He said such events would help foster a better understanding of the customs and traditions among the country’s diverse communities.
A maximum of 300 guests attended the event at the temple’s community hall under the strict standard operating procedure, following approval by the police and local authorities.