Tamils, Punjabis celebrate festivals in Malaysia

April 14th, 2011 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 14 (IANS) Tamils and Punjabis settled in Malaysia Thursday celebrated the Tamil New Year and Vaisakhi Thursday.

The Punjabi community, estimated at over 100,000, have begun the customary three days of non-stop recital of scriptures from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy text of the Sikhs at gurdwaras nationwide.

At the Gurdwara Sahib in Sentul, some 3,000 people attended the prayers that began Tuesday.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Tuesday shared in the festivities. He was welcomed by gurdwara president Gurdiall Singh, New Straits Times reported.

The temple committee cooked and fed the devotees, and also organised games such as eating competitions and a turban tying race. It also held a fashion show.

Of the 12 gurdwaras here and in Selangor state, four celebrate on a grand scale Thursday.

“We will be cooking at least 15 dishes for devotees as well as visitors, including tourists,” said Jalan Raja Alang Gurdwara president Inder Singh.

Besides Sikhs celebrating Vaisakhi, the New Year festival is observed on a large scale by the Tamils, who form a bulk of Malaysia’s 2.1 million ethnic Indian community that is eight percent of the multi-racial 28 million population.

Cleaning of their homes was followed by elaborate offerings of fruits and flowers to the deities at temples in the national capital’s Lebuh Apang, Brickfields and Masjid India areas.

Astrologers, palmists and numerologists in temples also received a steady stream of clients.

The twin festivals also saw a shopping spree.

The hottest-selling items were gold coins and coins engraved with the likeness of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, which are placed on altars at home to usher in prosperity, the newspaper said.

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