Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thipusam in Penang

Thipusam is a Hindu holy day devoted to Lord Murgha. It is widely celebrated in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Most Indians in India have no clue about this celebration that is such a big part of the Indian Community here. Malaysian Hindus who feel their prayers and wishes have been answered offer sacrifice or Ponggal to Lord Murgha for his blessings on them. They show their gratitude in the form of physical piercings and offerings of milk and flowers. In the following pictures you can see the various hooks holding little metal orbs of milk that are hooked through the sacrifants skin. You can also see some of the piercings go through the cheeks, nose, lips and tounge. I believe there are other cultures who do this as well.
Then the devotee will walk several miles to the temple of Lord Murgha here in Penang to offer Ponggal. Sometimes they pull great weights from the hooks on their backs as Christina is showing here in frot of a cute statue of the Elephant God Ganesha. During this Holiday that lasts for 3 days there is a very festive atmosphere and all Hindus are dressed to kill and enjoy dancing and feasting the night away.

This lovely picture of the Indian family is of our favorite taxi driver Danieel and his wife. It is great to go to festivals, the mall, a restaurant and run into friends! Danieel has become a good friend of Dave's. They have had the funniest conversations! When Dave asked if his marriage was arranged by his parents, he said "No sir! match!" I think he got the good end of the stick if you ask me because she is beautiful!
Dave is standing next to a darling set of sisters whose dress is typical of the festive nature of the day. We truly have fallen in love with the Indian culture. We love the food, dress, music, movies, festivals, but most of all the people. We feel very blessed to know them well. We never ever would have had the chance to understand them if we hadn't come to Malaysia.
I think I can speak for all of my family when I say...."India?
I can live there."


~cari~ said...

Very cool! Those girls are adorable! It's so fun to learn new things through you. Thanks!

Hey Jude! said...

Christina is so beautiful! I can't believe how big she is getting!