Staying vigilant this Deepavali

Covid-19 has dampened celebration somewhat, but Festival of Lights goes on

KUALA LUMPUR – Covid-19 has changed everything. Today, we live in what is known as the “new normal”.

In Malaysia, the spike in infections has resulted in the conditional movement control order being reimposed in most states.

A worker disinfecting the exterior of the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple in Shah Alam. – SAIRIEN NAFIS/The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
P. Santhi (left), with her daughter-in-law G. Thulasi, making chicken curry at their home in Shah Alam. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
P. Mahaleetchumy putting up new curtains ahead of today’s Deepavali celebration. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
P. Mahaleetchumy putting up new curtains ahead of today’s Deepavali celebration. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020

Businesses, schools and houses of worship are required to follow strict health and safety standard operating procedures to curb the coronavirus’ spread.

Deepavali, which falls today, is affected by these restrictions, resulting in a rather muted celebration. However, the Hindu community is undeterred.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple in Shah Alam, for example, has undertaken extensive sanitisation measures to ensure devotees’ safety, while many families have decorated their homes and cooked traditional dishes in anticipation of the Festival of Lights.

A family preparing their prayer room ahead of Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Chicken curry is a staple dish at P. Santhi’s home each Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Chicken curry is a staple dish at P. Santhi’s home each Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Preparing for Deepavali is a good opportunity for the family to bond. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Rice is put on a tray under the sun to dry before it is used to make briyani. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Herbs and spices commonly used to prepare Indian delicacies. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Herbs and spices commonly used to prepare Indian delicacies. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
New curtains being put up ahead of Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
New curtains being put up ahead of Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
A colourful vegetable dish prepared for the Festival of Lights. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
A florist preparing a garland outside a temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
A florist preparing a garland outside a temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Flowers in a variety of colours and hues are used to make garlands. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Workers at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple in Shah Alam making preparations ahead of Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
A temple staffer cleaning items ahead of Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
A temple staffer cleaning items ahead of Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Thorough cleaning being carried out at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Temple workers using water jets to clean the floor. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Ensuring everything is clean and ready before devotees arrive today for Deepavali prayers. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Clean-up being conducted at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Clean-up being conducted at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
The Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple will today welcome devotees for Deepavali prayers. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
The Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple will today welcome devotees for Deepavali prayers. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Disinfection being carried out at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Preparations being made for Deepavali at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
Preparations being made for Deepavali at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020
The scene at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Midlands Temple a day before Deepavali. – The Vibes pic, November 14, 2020

The Vibes photographer SAIRIEN NAFIS captures moments in the lead-up to the celebration.

BY : Sairien Nafis – THE VIBES

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