PETALING JAYA: The Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves this year is humble yet vibrant and meaningful, say devotees.
Student R. Navyinthra Seelan, who is from Klang, said that during previous years there was hardly any space to walk around but not this time.
“Usually, every year except for last year, there would be many people at Batu Caves.
“There were even stalls selling food and clothing,” he said on Tuesday (Jan 18).
According to the National Unity Ministry’s standard operating procedures (SOP), temporary stalls are not allowed to operate within the temple premises.
Navyinthra added, however, that the SOP helped keep devotees safe.
The 24-year-old said that to help keep his family safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, he volunteered to represent them at this year’s Thaipusam prayers.
“Older people are at higher risk so my parents decided to stay home and I volunteered (to represent) them instead,” added Navyinthra, who attended prayers at the temple as early as 6am with his cousin and friend.
Another devotee, P. Yuvaraj, 38, expressed his gratitude to the authorities for the way Thaipusam celebrations were organised this year.
“I am thankful for once again having the opportunity to celebrate Thaipusam here at Batu Caves.
“Despite the crowd being smaller this year, it does not make the celebration any less special," he said.
Yuvaraj added that the devotees he saw adhered to SOP such as wearing face masks and observing physical distancing.
“I came every year except last year as we were under lockdown.
“Obviously, this year’s celebration is much smaller compared to previous ones,” added Yuvaraj, who came with four members of his family.