Photo of the Week, Singapore

Photo of the Week – Singapore

10 Comments 29 January 2010

Thaipusam Festival Singapore

The Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam is only celebrated in 5 places in the world.  I was lucky enough to experience it in Singapore in 2007.  With my camera I was able to capture a close up view of the body piercings which are meant to show a family’s devotion to the god Murukan, the personification of wisdom.  In this photo, the man was pulling a heavy ‘offering’ for 5km via these back piercings.  Participants carry offerings for the Gods as an act of penance.  However, to me it appeared as one of the most painful processes I’ve ever seen!

The unique and painful festival is celebrated this weekend on Jan. 30th in Singapore, Batu Caves, Penang, Jahor Baru, and Ipoh. (the last 4 locations are in Malaysia) If you are anywhere near these locations, I implore you to go check it out; it’s a day you’ll never forget!

To learn more about the Thaipusam, you can read my original post on my Thaipusam experience.

See other travel photos at Photo Friday with Delicious Baby

Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. I shuddered when I saw the photo but could not look away. This has become all the rage in some places in the U.S. as well. I don’t understand it, buut I don’t judge it either.

  2. Lucia says:

    Ouch! nice pic, but painful to look at…can only imagine how that guy felt!

  3. bethany says:

    Great shot Sherry! That is something I definitely want to see for myself one day as well.

  4. amida says:

    Ouch! We certainly don’t see that everyday…

  5. Ouch, having seen the last King of Scotland where this sort of thing was used as torture, it makes me wince. But I suppose it’s not that different to the Catholics wearing hair shirts or whipping themselves for God.

  6. Anil says:

    Yikes, painful to look at even!!

  7. Dominique says:

    Ouch!…seems to be the word of the weekend here. I’m pretty much with Barbara in not wanting to look, but not being able to help but do so.

  8. Mark H says:

    What an exceptional photo that captures the fasicnating balance between religious celebration and ghoulishness. I’m off to read your original post on the story.


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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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NYC -> Colombia

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