Diwali - Hindu festival of lights full of love and togetherness
From Cameron Highlands we went to Ipoh to celebrate Hindu festival called Diwali which is festival of lights, very popular all over Asia and rest of the world among Hindu communities. We were invited for this occasion by Sharmila whom we met in Cameron Highlands. The bus journey from the Cameron Highlands to Ipoh took about two and a half hour and cost 20 MYR / person (cca 5 USD). Sharmila picked us up with her husband at the bus station and we went to do shopping together. They were so kind and refused our attempts to share costs with them. Indian people are very helpful, and when they invite a guest they never let them pay for anything. It might be even an insult to them.
It was also interesting to see what local supermarkets offer. Especially the large choice of fresh fish they sold in there. And the fruits and vegetables looked great too. But we were missing charms of small street markets. On our way out of the shopping centre we came across the Baťa shop (Czech shoe manufacturer). We had to go inside and have a look at the range they were offering in Malaysia. It was interesting for us from the beginning of our trip around the world to see how much the shoe offer varies from country to country.
Then we drove to a place where we supposed to stay, to Sharmila’s parents house. They welcomed us with open arms and we felt like at home. It was a very enjoyable experience for us after a long time. The father of family talked to us a lot and showed us family photo album where we saw the Sharmila’s wedding, the real Indian wedding, including the courtesies that preceded her. We admired sari on the photos. And meanwhile the mother cooked fragrant meal. We all sat together at the table which was also a very nice and pleasant change for us. Oh and the food was delicious, full of spices and different colors, some was very hot, but we have fallen in love with authentic indian home cuisine. And the family also because they cared about us as we were their own children.
In the evening we had the honor to meet Sharmila’s siblings and talk to them. We were interested in Indian culture and life in Malaysia and our hosts wanted to know as many details as possible about the countries we have traveled and where we we planned to go next.
Preparation for Diwali
Deepavali is one of the most important Indian holidays ever. And the preparations are kind of intensive. Local people take care of religious rituals, buying food and clothing of course. It is a tradition to buy new clothes for Diwali. So we set out to Little India to buy new clothes. Marti was already inspired by Sharmila’s wedding photos. Therefore Pavel decided to make her happy and buy her saree. Purchasing sari did not take long as the salesmen were well versed to advise. In the end we chose a cheaper saree for 70 MYR (cca 17.50 USD). Sharmila’s mom helped and showed how to dress sari. At first sight it is not easy and you need at least one experienced person to dress you. But Marti looked like a princess! Pavel received new T-shirt from the hosts as a gift. He still has it and likes wearing it. We had everything we needed and could start celebrating.
Deepavali celebration in a Hindu temple
We went to celebrate in Kallumalai Murugan Ipoh Temple. Alike all Hindu temples this was was colorful and beautiful. The true atmosphere was provided by other worshippers who came here to pray to goddess Lakshmi, who is considered goddess of wealth, happiness and prosperity. We were very kindly welcome and accepted by everyone. Still we were rather restrained as we did not want to disrupt local rituals. We emulated others and were allowed to pray too. Diwali celebration with Hindus in their sanctuary was unforgettable experience for us. It can hardly be described by words. Up to this day we are very grateful to Sharmila’s family for their warm invitation to festival of the lights.
And even though we had amazing time and for a while we felt a sense love and home, we had to move on. That’s why we boarded a bus and headed to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
Tento příspěvek je také k dispozici v jazyce: Czech