Updated: Ushering in Deepavalli with new hopes

Sitarist Jayasree Arumugam celebrates the Festival of Lights with her familly this year in Petaling Jaya.

PETALING JAYA, Nov 4 – After the quiet, and lockdown-induced strictly-at-home Deepavalli celebration last year, Hindus in Malaysia are marking the Festival of Lights this year with a little more gaiety despite the still-present Covid-19 virus and the observation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been put in place for all to follow.

A display of fireworks on Wednesday night in Brickfields to welcome Deepavalli.

While many took to online Deepavalli shopping to avoid crowds at shopping centres, a good number of those celebrating Deepavalli in the Klang Valley, also took to do their shopping in the popular areas of Brickfields and Klang. Unlike the scenario of the last few months of closed shopping centres and restaurants, many shopping centres seemed to have also taken extra effort to mark the festive period with brightly lit decorations and colourful kolams displayed in their lobbies.

For Sitarist Jayasree Arumugam, it will be once again a time for family gathering at her home in SS2 here. Together with her husband, sons, daughters-in-law and their four grandchildren, Jayasree will be spending the day with the usual prayers, preparation of special food, and a visit to her sister’s place later in the day.

Jayasree was among the many who had chosen Brickfields to do some light shopping.

“Mostly, we got new clothes for our grandchildren,” she said.

While many were mindful of the losses some families had seen in the last two years of the Covid-19, hope seemed to have also gone up as the Malaysian streets have once again been filled up with people moving about doing their usual things and in line with the SOPs.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Wednesday also reminded those celebrating the festival to continue to observe the SOPs and be in synch with the new norms as Malaysia transitions to a Covid-19 endemic.