Penang Hindu Temple – Sri Ambakarthur Patrakaliamman’s Religious Festivities – Part 2   Leave a comment

Penang Hindu Temple – Sri Ambakarthur Patrakaliamman’s Religious Festivities – Part 2
These were the Festivities of the Penang Hindu Temple namely, Sri Ambakarthur Patrakaliamman of Penang is located at Kampung Baru, Ayer Itam, Penang. Though we were invited to photograph these Festivities including Fire-walking, I was NOT allowed to enter the Fire-walking enclosure thus I could not take any photographs of the Fire-walking Ceremony with extreme disappointment even though prior arrangement was made with the Temple Secretary. Bertrand Linet managed to enter to shoot but I was excluded. Sadly, there was no photograph of any fire-walking here like in Part 1 of the same titled post. To add insult to injury I was pushed roughly by a Member of the Temple during the Procession. I nearly fell but fortunately was helped by the bystanders. If I had fallen, two of my DSLRs 5D MkIII and 70D, shall see the end of their life-cycles.

Although I was not within the Fire-walking enclosure, I was unable to shoot as the crowd was blocking my view. However I must make this concerned observation of mine for the future. It seemed that this Fire-walking is open to those who are interested and willing to fire-walk. I could see a few hundred devotees queueing up for their turns to cross the hot burning rectangular fire pit. My great concern is that some devotees were carrying babies and small children with them in this fire-walking ritual. What shall be the consequences if they had a mis-step by the side of the fire pit? I heard children are not allowed to fire-walk but walk by the side of the pit. Hopefully the Temple authorities shall have a strict rule about this in future – disallowing such act of carrying small babies and toddlers with them and allowing these kids into the enclosure for safety reason. Precautionary measures are better than cure.

SP Lim


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