KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — ‘Little India’ areas are the focus of Hindus today as shoppers make last-minute purchases to celebrate Deepavali tomorrow.
A Bernama survey in several locations nationwide found shoppers busy buying basic essentials to enliven the ‘Festival of Lights’ atmosphere after quieter celebrations in previous years due movement controls to curb the spread of the Covid-19 infection in the country.
In Brickfields’ Little India here, people were seen buying clothes, prayer items and Indian sweets. One shopper was private university student, S Pravienah, 19, who said she was excited because she could be with her family looking for the needed items.
“I came from Kajang to buy clothes here with my siblings. It is fun because previously we had to celebrate the festival under the standard operating procedures (SOP) due to Covid-19,” she said.
In Penang, it was also lively in its Little India area in George Town as people took the opportunity to shop for essential goods at lower prices.
Shopper S Kamaleswari, 38, said she wanted to shop at the last minute because one can get various basic essentials at attractive discounts.
“I prefer last-minute shopping to soak up the atmosphere as well as take advantage of the good offers available,” she said, adding that she bought prayer and decorative items, Indian sweets and traditional clothes.
In Negeri Sembilan, traders in its Little India, in Jalan Yam Tuan were busy attending to shoppers. However, some traders had already closed their business to celebrate Deepavali.
T Gomathi, who sells jewellery items, said sales of bangles, necklaces and rings, for example, were good as customers were buying these items especially for their children.
“Although sales are not as brisk as five years ago, they are improving. I know people do not want to overspend due to the current uncertain economic situation,” she added.
Henna artist J Tusheela said she received many bookings over the past few days to do henna designs in conjunction with the festival. The prices of these motifs range from RM6 to over RM100.
In Selangor, a survey of the Little India area in Jalan Tengku Kelana, Klang found many of the essentials and food items to celebrate Deepavali tomorrow were nearly sold out.
Trader S Ganesan said the Deepavali celebration this year looked more lively from previous years and he was thankful that his Indian sweets were almost sold out too.
In Perak, P Poomathi, 53, secretary of the Devi Om Sri Mahaletchmi Alayam Temple in Jalan Lahat, said the temple in Ipoh is receiving unlimited visits from devotees especially since there is no longer any standard operating procedures (SOP) for physical distancing and the wearing of face masks is not mandatory.
“Since I was 18 years old, I have been serving in the temple along with my husband S Tamilselvam, 54. The temple has been so lively during Deepavali except during the past few years (due to movement controls to curb the spread of the Covid-19 infection),” she said.
M Vivekandam, chairman of the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh, said the house of worship is often visited by hundreds of thousands of devotees from all over the country. Prayer events begin tomorrow at 7 am until noon, while the evening session starts from 6.30 pm until 9pm.