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Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka Photo scholarship 2011 entry

My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

Malaysia | Sunday, 17 October 2010 | 5 photos


Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). The word Thaipusam is derived from the month name Thai and Pusam, which refers to a star that is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a spear so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

As a form of penance or sacrifice, many of them carry Kavadis (literally, "burden," such as a pitcher or jug). These are large, brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue. By doing this penance they expect some favors from their Gods.

The Kavadis is placed on the shoulders of the devotee. The Kavadis represents a miniature shrine. Women carry a silver jug full of milk on their heads, some are pierced through their cheeks and tongues and others not. Chains are dropped from the central body of the Kavadis and hooked onto the flesh of the bearer. The length of the spears had to be limited to a meter in consideration for other devotees. Others hook limes, oranges or coconuts onto their bodies. They are always accompanied by an entourage of relatives and friends to make them enthusiastic with dance parades, songs, musicians playing the drums and the flutes. As they arrive at the shrine at the Batu Caves, the Swami removes the hooks, spears etc. The vow is finally fulfilled.

Why should I be chosen? Because I want to explore things, not just explore but do keep a record of my experience to share with others and I have passion about photography too.

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