I hung around in Singapore for the Thaipusam festival where people walk around with big spikes in their bods all wrapped up in a frame. They are asking the gods to give them a hand to overcome lifes obstacles and for certain things like physical protection or wealth, all symbolised by objects, limes, coconuts. It is a heady affair for such a modern city, the contrast between visceral worship with the towering perfect city all too obvious.

According to Wikipedia ‘Lord Skanda (or Lord Murugan) was created during one of the battles between the Asuras and the Devas. At one point, the latter were defeated several times by the former. The Devas were unable to resist the onslaught of the Asura forces. In despair, they approached Lord Siva and entreated to give them an able leader under whose heroic leadership they might obtain victory over the Asuras. They surrendered themselves completely and prayed to Lord Siva. Siva granted their request by creating the mighty warrior, Lord Skanda, out of his own power or Achintya Shakti. He at once assumed leadership of the celestial forces, inspired them and defeated the Asura forces.’

As you can see from the picture below the spikes are real..

Anyhow, all of this mulitculteralism is a pleasure to see. Singapore manages to survive with a diverse mix of races and apparently it is all down to a firm hand and good management. This wouldn’t work in London as a firm hand is not appreciated. What might help is a ‘Multiracial Therapist’ such as this:

or indeed a little chat with the next feller, he looks like he could solve any problem then tinkle the old ivories for a round of ‘roll out the barrel’ East London style.

I wonder if he visits the multi racial therapist?

2 thoughts on “Thaipusam”

  1. I lived in Singapore as a child and I visited the Thaipusam festival every year with my mother and sister. My father didn’t like it and no doubt stayed at home watching cricket but my mother had a lively and enquiring mind and took us to see all manner of unsuitable things. I have photographs of this festival showing a very large guy adorned with rows and rows of fish hooks in his skin hung with limes and lemons. I remember very clearly the traffic directed by a policeman with white gloves trying to get past the procession and the thick choking clouds of incense. Spell binding. It was nice to meet you albeit too brief.

    1. Wow, how long were you in Singapore for? That would have been before it all got cleaned up which would have been quite an experience 🙂

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