Being a Hindu minority in Malaysia not a barrier

MIRI: Being a minority is a not hindrance for members of the Hindu community here to celebrate Ponggal and Thaipusam festivals.

It is support and cooperation among themselves that play an important part in boosting their spirit, facilitating and enabling a smooth celebration to their joy and contentment.

“Being a minority is a not barrier and we have proven it.

“Our festivals were a success;  though celebrated on a moderate scale, its a memorable one,” a happy Miri Hindu Society (MHS) president Selvaraj Grapragasem told The Borneo Post yesterday, attributing the overwhelming success to the strong support and cooperation from the Hindu community.

Over 70 MHS members and devotees including 15 National Service (NS) trainees participated in the recent festivals held at the Kamini Durga Easwari Amman shrine atop Raghavan Building, Brook Road here.

The occasion started with a street procession, where 30 devotees carried a pot of

milk each for bathing Lord Murugan.

Selvaraj said the procession began at 7.30pm around the altar where the statue of Lord Murugan was placed while chanting the holy hymn.

As this year’s Ponggal fell on the same day as Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on

Jan 14, the prayers commenced earlier at 9am with the cooking of ‘ponggal’, followed by ‘pooja’ for Goddess Durga.

The ponggal (sweet rice) was cooked in a new earthen pot, whereby fresh turmeric

powder and ginger were wrapped in a cloth and tied round the pot.

Then a delicious concoction of rice, ‘moong dal’, jaggery and milk were boiled in the pot on an open fire.

“Ponggal is celebrated by the Hindus to mark the harvesting of the bounteous crops in the field, just like ‘Gawai’ in Sarawak and ‘Tadau Kaamatan’ in Sabah.

“And for Thaipusam, it is a celebration of victory of good over evil,” Selva explained

Source: The Borneo Post