MALAYSIA: A Perak-based Sikh organisation met one of the country’s largest Hindu organisation with regards to the usage of Sikh symbols like khanda in the Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
Malaysia National Sikhs Movement (GerakSikh) secretary general Amarjit Singh Gill met with the Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) president Mohan Shan in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (8 Feb 2015) to discuss the usage of Sikh khanda and other Sikh symbols as Kavadi decorations.
The matter came to light during the recent Thaipusam festival, with photographs circulated via the social media showing a khanda used as a decoration on a kavadi.
In an editorial on Feb 4, Asia Samachar called upon Sikh organisations and gurdwaras nationwide to write to the Hindu organisations managing the Thaipusam programmes to ensure that Sikh symbols like khanda are not used as kavadi decorations.
Kavadi is a dance performed by the devotees during the ceremonial worship of Lord Murugan. It is often performed during the festival of Thaipusam and emphasises debt bondage. The kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from Murugan, according to Wikipedia.
In a statement, Amarjit said GerakSikh had formally made a request to MSH that a clear guideline should be put forth for the devotees that no religious insignia or symbol should be used in future Thaipusam celebrations. – ASIA SAMACHAR (9 Feb 2015)
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. Go to www.asiasamachar.com]
SEE ALSO: We don’t do kavadi. Period. – ASIA SAMACHAR (4 Feb 2015)