Joyful Deepavali observed nationwide


Offering prayers: Hindus, dressed in new clothes in an array of colours, observing their religious obligation on Deepavali morning at the Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple in Ipoh. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The celebration of Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, was joyously observed across the country, with Hindu devotees taking advantage of the good weather in the morning to carry out religious obligations at temples in their respective areas.

Dressed in vibrant clothing, people were seen enjoying the festive day by spending time with family, cooking hearty meals, visiting relatives and friends, and hosting open houses.

In Kuala Lumpur, S. Dharviin, 33, who works in Kedah, was able to return to his hometown in Batu Caves and enjoy the added benefits of toll-free travel and freedom from Covid-19 restrictions.

“The last time I had the opportunity to experience the ‘balik kampung’ atmosphere like this was before I started working in Kedah about eight years ago.

“The dishes that my family and I prepared this year were special including a banana leaf meal, idli and murukku,” he told Bernama at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple, Batu Caves here.In Penang, the Muniswarar Temple in Jalan Baru and Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple in Seberang Jaya were among the focal points for Hindus from 7am to attend to their prayers.

In Kuantan, Hindu devotees began visiting the Sri Mariamman Temple on Jalan Seri Kemunting early in the morning, dressed in an array of colours.

In Alor Setar, a visitor to the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple, S. Darshini, 34, said her family did not return to their hometown in Teluk Intan, Perak, this year because her grandmother wanted to experience celebrating the festival in the city.

Lighting up: Theepa Mogan, 23, (right) with her mother and others lighting diyas during the special Deepavali prayer at Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple in Seberang Jaya, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The StarLighting up: Theepa Mogan, 23, (right) with her mother and others lighting diyas during the special Deepavali prayer at Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple in Seberang Jaya, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

In Johor Baru, Hindus visited the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple on Jalan Ungku Puan, also known as Little India Johor Baru, from 7.30am for religious ceremonies, where the public also received laddu when visiting the 110-year-old temple.

In Melaka, S. Ravisantharan, 56, and his family woke up at 4am for an oil bath at home before sunrise.

Dressed in white which symbolises purity, they then continued their religious ritual at the Sri Sunthara Moorthy Vinayagar Temple in Batu Berendam.

In Seremban, Sri Bala Thandayuthapani Temple president Captain (Rtd) VR Parameswaran said around 6,000 Hindu devotees were expected to visit the temple.In Perlis, M. Ashok Kumar, 22, the Arulmigu Arumugaswamy Dhevasthanam Temple treasurer, hoped that this year’s Deepavali celebration would strengthen unity among the communities.

In Kuala Terengganu, special officer (non-Islamic affairs) to the Terengganu Mentri Besar, Dr Balachandran Gopal Krishnan and his wife, Senbagavalli Kalimuthu, along with their three children, woke up at 6am for a sesame oil bath.

They then went to Sri Kailasa Nathar Temple on Jalan Cherong Lanjut for prayers and to do their prayers.

“Besides thosai and murukku, we also enjoy nasi minyak as our main dish during Deepavali. This is because we have embraced the culture and cuisine of the Malay community here,” he said, adding that the Indian population in Terengganu accounts for less than 1% of the state’s 1.3 million residents.

In Ipoh, thousands of Hindu devotees gathered at the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh from 7am.

In Shah Alam, state exco member V. Papparaidu hosted an open house with Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari also present.

In Kota Baru, Kelantan Wanita MIC chief S. Nilai Valagi, 63, prepared murukku and new clothes a month in advance. She said 25 of her family members gathered at her mother’s house in Lundang this year.

In Kuching, although the Indian population is around 7,000, the people still celebrate Deepavali and maintain a strong sense of unity. Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg attended an open house organised by lawyer Shankar Ram.

In Kota Kinabalu, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, joined by over 5,000 people, attended the Deepavali celebration at the Sabah International Convention Centre, which was jointly organised by the state government and the Sabah Indian Chamber of Commerce.

They enjoyed traditional Indian dishes such as thosai, murukku and curry as well as traditional Sabah dishes like kelupis.

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