Deepavali – Stuck in Customs


Diwali, also called Deepavali is a major Hindu festival. Known as the “Festival of Lights,” it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. The festival of Diwali is about harvesting. Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional diyas. (from Wikipedia)

The ones I visited this weekend were at the Batu Caves here in Malaysia. Below, you will see Lord Murugan there in Gold. He s huge, standing as tall as all those steps to the top of the caves.

This is Rikah

This is Rikah.

Rikah’s dream is for the light to triumph over the dark.

Rikah is currently celebrating Deepavali at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. She has been coming alone for the past four years ever since her husband died. She did not want to talk about that. I asked if her children ever joined her in celebrating Deepavali, and she shook her head no slowly while watching some small children run past.

This is Lisaka

This is Lisaka.

Lisaka’s dream is the same as her parents’, that she stays healthy after almost dying last year.

She is currently with her Chinese dad and Indian mom giving thanks at Deepavali. Her dad tells me how he came to the Thaipusam festival and placed hooks and ropes in his back, in a form of self-flagellation prayer that helped secure his daughter’s health for one more year. Now, he says, she is saved. He bends down and fixes her dress.