Sharing our Journeys: Craig Brandt, Malaysia

Hindu celebration of Malaysians of Tamil Indian originCraig Brandt

Thaipusam
Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

While my travels are made to expand my knowledge of the world outside the U.S., my journey to Thaipusam, a Hindu celebration of Malaysians of Tamil Indian origin, was far different in intent than that of the pilgrim in the photo.

As a form of penance, she will carry a pot of milk up 272 steep steps to pray at the shrine of Lord Murugan, the son of Shiva. The two symbolic spears pass through her cheeks to signify that she has temporarily renounced speech to concentrate more fully on the deity, who will not allow her to shed blood or suffer pain.