Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Deepavali - Little India, Klang (Part 1)

The best thing about living in Malaysia is we always have a reason to celebrate with festivals since we are a multi-cultural society. Next month marks two big celebrations namely Deepavali and Hari Raya Puasa/Adil Fitri. I had blogged quite a bit about the Ramadan bazaars already but I thought I will turn my focus on the Deepavali celebrations.

Deepavali or Diwali which is better known as the Festival of Lights is celebrated by Hindus worldwide. It is believed that the festival marks a triumph of good over evil as it is the day Lord Krishna overthrew the devil, Narakusa who terrorised people. To celebrate this festival, the Hindus will light oil lamps as a symbol that light won against the darkness the people were subjected to.

Prior to any festival, there will be a frenzy of getting everything ready. Deepavali is no exception and you will see people flocking to the shops for new clothes, ornaments to decorate the house and stocking up the goodies to serve to their family and friends on that day. I made a little trip to Klang's Little India and found a burst of colour, sweet temptations and crispy treats which I will be detailing in this three part series.

Klang has quite a large Indian community and their shops are famous in Malaysia as everyone from other states visit them to do their festive shopping. These shops and side stalls are all located around Jalan Tengku Kelana. There are shops selling clothes such as saris and salwar kameers which are packed with people searching for new clothes to wear to the festival. I love the beautiful fabrics and it took me quite a bit of effort to not walk into one to browse and buy the brightly coloured items.

They have clothes for everyone including these cute and colourful outfits for the little ones. The clothes are hung outside their shops to entice people to walk in to check out their wares.

This shop was selling all kinds of accessories like multi-coloured bangles and decorations for the women's forehead. The shop felt so festive with all it's hanging decorations.

Houses will be cleaned and decorated in anticipation of the visitors on Deepavali. Some even renovate their houses specially for the occasion. These hanging paper decorations with Deepavali motifs are an easy way to spruce up the house and give it a festive atmosphere.

The shops are full of rainbow flower garlands that one can buy and decorate their house with.

You can also buy these multi-coloured flowers to brighten up your house. They come in all kinds and my favourites are the happy sunflowers.

I found these cute Hello Kitty dolls in one of the shops. A bit out of place among all the festive items but this will be perfect for any little girl as a present.

Along the street, you find a treasure trove of Indian delicacies that are irrestible. The stalls were selling these snacks called achi muruku that is popular among all Malaysians that the Malays and Chinese even have their special names for it. To the Malays, it is known as Kuih Ros (Malay for Rose Cake) due to it's shape and the Chinese call it Mutt Foong Tau (Chinese for Beehive) as it resembles a beehive. This crunchy snack is made from a batter of coconut milk, flour, sugar and eggs that is dipped in a special mould and deep fried in hot oil.

This stall at one of the roadside lanes was selling a large variety of snacks for the festive season, whether it was murukus, peanuts, crackers and etc. Mind boggling selection and extremely addictive stuff especially when you sit in front of the television.

Here are close-ups of the packets which are from another stall along the main road. The stall owner comes all the way from Sungai Petani, up north just to set up business during Deepavali. They are all murukus and come with a mix of nuts and deep fried crispies. Not too sure what the dark brown ones are but the stall owner did say it is popular among the Indians. The top two ones are more popular among the Malaysians and you see them at the shops all year round.

This stall owner was also selling a large variety of buttery cookies for the festive season that was simply decorated with pink icing, chocolate icing, jam and chocolate sprinkles.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I will bring you more of the street life in Klang's Little India and lots and lots of Indian sweets. They are slightly different varieties from the ones I had previously blogged about that gave my blog a
tooth ache.


jesscet said...

Just wondering.. when you post all these pix and write up on the bazaars, do u go there alone or with splashie-boy or other ppl? You should get paid for this hardwork u know.. try submitting it to some publications! (if not too late..)

boo_licious said...

rabbit - hee hee, any coverage of the Little Indias up north?

jess - depends, sometimes I go alone or with friends. Can earn money from my hobby? Sounds good, please point the way.

humble warrior - I am sure they have mango lassi. I did not wander into the restaurants but I did stop for a snack which I will talk about in part 3.

Cat said...

i just cant get over how colourful everything is!! :)

Unknown said...

I miss murukus. They have darn good murukus at Taiping bus station. Thank you for sharing the photos with us.

boo_licious said...

catesa - yes! I love those colourful outfits, hard to resist them as they are so pretty with their beading.

anasalwa - sadly I have not been to Taiping but thanks for the tip.

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