Destinations: Thaipusam @ Limkokwing University of Creative Technology



One of the oldest festivals in Malaysia, Thaipusam is celebrated by mainly the Hindu community, and has been celebrated for more than a hundred years.

A Festival of Light and Colors

This festival full of color and pageantry usually falls in either January or February, during the month of ‘Thai’ where the star ‘Pusam’ is at its highest point, and draws millions of devotees and tourists every year to the ever-popular Batu Caves where the gigantic statue of Lord Murugan is erected. The festival celebrates either the birth of Lord Murugan, or the moment Parvati bestowed a spear upon Lord Murugan for him to slay his opponent, the demon Soopardman, depending on the source. Devotees would go through great lengths to fulfill their vows during the festival, and most of the times by mutilating themselves while chanting prayers to their gods. It’s even claimed that the devotees do not feel pain during this process, and some carry large shrine bearing offerings anchored to their shoulders known as kavadis.

In this episode, three students share their experience during the Thaipusam festivities. Malaz, 25, hails from the UK and is currently a Faculty of Communication, Media & Broadcasting student. She loves opening herself to new experiences and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty, all in the name of ‘At least I tried it once!’ From the same faculty we have 18-year-old Nadhir, a true KLite. Strange as it may sound, he says he’s never been to a Thaipusam festival prior to this! Ricardo, 21, hails from Columbia and is a student of Faculty of Design Innovation. A photography enthusiast, this will be the perfect place for him to hone his skills.

A Festival of Light and Colors

Most of the locations are only accessible by foot so they could have easily walked at least 50km in the span of the 3 days. The procession started at Sri Mahamariamman Temple in the heart of KL, and spans a 15km walk to Batu Caves itself, where our team climbed 272 steps up to the magnificent Temple Cave. The shoot definitely pushed our students to do things they never thought they would do themselves, including carrying the 50kg kavadi!

The Temple Cave itself fills one with a sense of wonder, and even many KL-ites have yet to take in the enormity of the cave. For our students, the experience was unique as the atmosphere of the festival lends an other-worldliness to the proceedings- an experience unique to Batu Caves, Malaysia.

DESTINATIONS is an original Centre for Content Creation production that explores the stories of many cultures around the world. The Limkokwing community from various backgrounds come together each episode to experience something new and unique together, and by bringing this colorful mismatch of cultures together in one place, gain a fresh perspective of this beautiful world we live in.

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