The devotees set off with milk pots on their heads toward Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.
Just yesterday, I became a little more Singaporean. There’s been quite a bit of talk lately about being proud or not proud to be Singaporean, but that’s not really relevant here. :p While traveling I often end up visiting different places of worship to understand their culture better. And on my way home yesterday (near Little India), it suddenly hit me when I saw the road closure signs for Thaipusam outside Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple that it’s ironic that I’ve never been inside. It is really quite embarrassing if you consider the number of tourists who probably know more about this Hindu temple than me. So I thought, “hey why not go on a little excursion at night since it was Thaipusam” (learn more about the festival here). Friends said I was damn random but why not right?
Queuing like everyone else Preparation begins Followed by the devotees praying. Sometimes they get into a trance and friends around them step in to help. Only when they are spiritually ready do the piercing begin. I could feel the pain just by watching and cannot imagine what they are going through. The ladies join in too.
Previously I’ve really only seen snippets on the news, so experiencing it live was really interesting and refreshing. And although I only stayed for the first 4hours (started around 11pm the previous day), I can relate to it much better now and have a newfound respect for our fellow countryman. It really takes a lot of courage and focus to go through the things they do. There are so many similarities with other religions and it is amazing how they just take different forms. The only pity is how we always dream about traveling to other countries but forget to explore our own backyard. I’m adding “knowing Singapore better” to my list of new year resolutions.