Photographer's Note

I've lived here in Singapore for almost eight years now, and Thaipusam is probably my favorite annual festival. Whether it's the friendly people, the true feeling of community, or maybe it's just the fact that it's so foreign to me that's appealing.

Thaipusam is the feast for the son of Shiva, Lord Subramaniam who is the universal granter of wishes. Participants are either repenting for past sins, or paying a vow in hopes of granting a wish.

As you can see in this image, Hindus are quite serious about their religion and some (we might say) take it to extremes. This man is carrying a Kavadi, which is a large offering to Lord Subramaniam. This Kavadi is made of metal and rises about 4 feet about the mans head, which is attached to this man's flesh via metal skewers and hooks. It looks rather heavy (I'll take their word for it- thanks!) Other such offerings are that of fruit hooked to the skin, as well as what looks to be milk and other such offerings.

If you look closely at this man's face, he not only has a piercing in his forhead, but also a skewer going through his cheeks, but also one right through his outstretched tongue.

Everyone walks 3 kilometers from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to Chettiar Hindu Temple, most in a trance-like state of bliss in communication/ prayer with the gods. It truly is an extraordinary event...

More photos to come!
- Dan

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Additional Photos by Dan Walsh (danielswalsh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1458 W: 363 N: 2367] (13597)
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