Monday, January 24, 2011


People do some pretty wacky stuff during a full moon. You can read all about Thaipusam here.

Walking through the crowded streets of normally sleepy Sungai Petani, we’re a bit surprised there are so many people here. Let alone Indians (or Sri Lankans for that matter – we can never tell the difference).

Possibly there are a few ring-ins up for the weekend; you can get away with more if you’re splitting town in a day or two.

Some of the… whatever you call the guys getting the piercings… devotees? are playing it pretty cool.

Yet with others you can see the pain on their faces, and they seem to be struggling to keep it together.

Can’t say we’re seeing much dancing, or trancing.

Some give it a go, but the crowd makes it pretty difficult. It’s a wonder no one gets whacked by one of these spinning…. kavadi things.

The pain endured is supposedly all about earning merit, but to us, for some of these pincushions it seems to be a bit of an ego trip. Like the harder they strain against the ropes, the more they’re demonstrating their…. what? Balls? Interestingly there’s also a lot of swaggering going on by the general male population. And the girls are all dressed to kill.

You make up your own minds, but to us Hindu culture all seems to boil down to one thing.

You see it in their films. You see it in their temples. You see it in their festivals. It’s all about sex. No wonder the Indian population has topped a billion.

There’s nothing titillating about the piercings though. That’s a big piece of metal to be dragging through your cheeks.

Oh well. Til next year then…

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