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Celebrating Festival of Lights During COVID-19

Aside from creating a turbulent environment for businesses, the pandemic has also completely changed the festival scene in the country, with the way we cannot even step outside of our home without putting on a mask.

Linguistic student Vishnu A/L Kanagalingam, who is currently pursuing his Masters in English Studies at the Open University Malaysia, said that his family will never be able to shake off the paranoia and fear triggered by the outbreak. Everything is now set on a minor scale, including festivities which previously can be celebrated grandly and freely. 

According to Vishnu, instead of celebrating Deepavali in a grand manner, for his family, the festival has always been a season of worshipping and feasting. However, the pandemic has brought a halt to their bazaar trips at Little India as well as to the houses of relatives. 

Sharing with Ipoh Echo, he said this may be the longest time since they have last been to the temple. Not to mention, they have not visited nor have they been visited by relatives.  

“Before the pandemic, we would go to the Deepavali bazaar to shop for decorations and sweetmeats. Now, I find the world outside my house more frightening than it used to be. We used to be more welcoming to relatives and friends, but now we notice that we are actively discouraging visitors from coming over.

“I’m grateful that I live with my family so we can enjoy a warm Deepavali. I hope that this will be the last Deepavali of the pandemic and that next year’s can be celebrated with a sense of liberation,” he highlighted. 

The 25-year-old Ipohite shared that the joy of Deepavali emanates from the meaning of the festival which is the triumph of good over evil, and by holding on to this conviction, he believes we will have a flourishing future. 

Nevertheless, he is glad that he could spend the joyous day with his family. With the situation now seeing some good days, the Diwali fervour gradually returns. However, we still have to keep in mind to not slack on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) while celebrating the festival of lights for everyone’s sake. 

Happy Deepavali!

 

Gisele Soo

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