Today, the Tamil community celebrate Thaipusam, a Hindu festival. The venue here in Malaysia is at the Batu Caves, “where over a million of devotees and thousands of tourists come. The procession to the caves starts at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur in the heart of the city and proceeds for 15 kilometers to the caves, an 8-hour journey culminating in a flight of 272 steps to the top. Devotees carry containers containing milk as offering to Lord Murugan either by hand or in huge decorated carriers on their shoulders called ‘kavadi’.” (Wikipedia)
My husband and I first heard of this festival last August 2014. When it was mentioned to us that there would be piercings all over the body, we knew we were not going to miss the next one. So with our good friends Farah and Ikram, we braved the jam packed train to the Batu Caves. Via the KTM at KL Sentral, we took the train which cost 4 myr for a round trip, travel time was 32 minutes.
Walking out of the train station was already slow, even though we were still about 1.5 km away from the main cave.
Once we got to where the main action was, there was very little movement, and you just see a sea of people.
Hindu Caste music was playing loudly, continuously. There were devotees with different kinds of Kavadi. Kavadi is a physical burden and there are different types.
The four of us thought it would be neat to climb up the 272 steps and see the rituals happening inside the cave. Well, well, well, that didn’t work out so well for us. After about an hour of standing in line and the us barely moving 10 meters from our starting point, we decided that maybeeeee next year.
We did have fun though, and it was nice to see and experience something new, something different. We all have our own God and we all believe in a higher being. It’s important that we remember to respect other people’s cultures, religions and beliefs, because who ever it is you pray to, one thing is true for all human beings- “do unto others what you want others to do unto you.”