Thaipusam: Break fewer coconuts to curb spending, pollution, says CAP

File picture of a coconut supplier in George Town, Penang. - Photo: Bernama

GEORGE TOWN: Devotees celebrating Thaipusam this Sunday (Feb 5) are urged to break fewer coconuts, says Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) education officer NV Subbarow.

He said the money used to break the coconuts can be used to fulfil the various needs of the needy Indian community who still live below the poverty line.

"Many devotees, particularly from the Chinese community, were ill-informed of the reasons behind the coconut-breaking ceremony.

"They think that the more coconuts they break, the more good luck they will receive.

"They break thousands of coconuts every year which ultimately end up in landfills and being burned, and eventually turning into fumes that pollute the environment," he said in a statement on Friday (Feb 3).

He said breaking coconuts, which have been ingrained in every Hindu’s heart, should be implemented in the right manner by breaking one coconut which should be done with full devotion.

He said spending money to buy thousands of coconuts is not considered wise especially with the current economic situation.

He said breaking coconuts during Thaipusam is a cleansing ritual practised by Hindu devotees and it is a symbolic representation of surrendering one’s ego in the feet of God which is done with full determination and devotion.

He said CAP also urged devotees to break one coconut while consumers should not buy coconuts if it is sold for a high price.

"If consumers pay more, the price will increase more. It's the consumers' role to bring down the price," he said.

He said the price of coconuts too is expected to increase during the Thaipusam celebrations. The market price of a coconut is RM1.70 to RM1.90.

He said during Thaipusam, the price is expected to increase from RM2.50 to RM3.

He said devotees should give a thought on this and to follow the right religious practices and to become a good role model for the younger generation.

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