• Short Summary

    MANY THOUSANDS OF INDIANS FROM ALL OVER MALAYSIA HAVE BEEN FLOCKING THIS WEEK TO THE HINDU SHRINE AT BATU CAVES, JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY OF KUALA LUMPUR, FOR THE ANNUAL RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL OF THIASPUSAM.

  • Description

    MANY THOUSANDS OF INDIANS FROM ALL OVER MALAYSIA HAVE BEEN FLOCKING THIS WEEK TO THE HINDU SHRINE AT BATU CAVES, JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY OF KUALA LUMPUR, FOR THE ANNUAL RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL OF THIASPUSAM. MOST GO TO PRAY AND MAKE OFFERINGS OF FRUIT AT THE SHRINE, BUT A NUMBER OF DEEPLY RELIGIOUS HINDUS ARRIVE TO "CARRY THE KABAD" - THE ARCHED ALTARS OF FLOWERS AND SPIKES - THEIR BODIES PIERCED WITH SPIKES AND HOOKS WHILE IN A TRANCE.

    THE THIASPUSAM FESTIVAL IS DEDICATED TO THE CHILD GOD OF THE HINDUS, AND IT'S A TIME WHEN VOWS MADE DURING THE YEAR ARE UNFILLED AT THE GOD'S SHRINE. WITH CHANTING AND BEATING OF DRUMS THE PROCESSION SETS OFF ALONG THE ROAD AND CLIMBS 270 STEPS LEADING TO THE MOUTH OF THE BATU CAVES. ESPECIALLY DEVOUT FULFILL THEIR VOWS BY PINCUSHIONING THEIR BODIES WITH SPIKES, PINS AND HOOKS.

    SOME SIMPLY SHOULDER THEIR KABADIS, WHILE OTHERS CARRY THEIRS BY MEANS OF DOZENS OF LONG SPIKES DRIVEN INTO THEIR BODIES IN A CRISS-CROSS PATTERN, OR TOW THEM ALONG BY STRINGS FIXED IN THEIR BACKS WITH HOOKS. HOWEVER, AS THE WORSHIPPERS ARE DEEPLY ENTRANCED THEY FEEL NO PAIN. THE SPIKES AND HOOKS ARE DRIVEN INTO THEIR FLESH BY FRIENDS BEFORE THE HALF-MILE JOURNEY TO THE CAVES BEGINS.

    INSIDE THE VAST CAVES, THE VOICES OF THE WORSHIPPERS DROWN THE SHRIEKS OF THE STARTLED BATS, AND SHAFTS OF SUNLIGHT PIERCE THE CLOUDS OF SMOKE RISING FROM INCENSE. FOR THE KABADI CARRIERS THE JOURNEY ENDS WHEN THEY REACH THE SHRINE OF THE CHILD GOD SET IN THE WALLS DEEP IN THE CAVERN. THEIR SPIKES ARE PULLED OUT AND THEY AWAKE FROM THEIR TRANCES - THEIR BODIES STRANGELY UNMARKED.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACLEA4PYSXKDFVP1MYGDFYT29Y
    Media URN:
    VLVACLEA4PYSXKDFVP1MYGDFYT29Y
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    06/02/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:18:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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