Sunday, 12 October 2008

Deepavali in Brickfields, KL

Deepavali, the festival of lights, falls on the 27th of October this year.

Brickfields, the Little India of KL, becomes a hive of activity in the weeks approaching the celebrations. Temporary stalls selling selwar kamiz, saris, Indian sweets and savoury munchies, garlands of flowers and even prayer idols spring up on either side of the main road drawing crowds from all over the Klang valley.

Historically, Brickfields was the centre for brick-making in the early days as the whole area was a clay pit involved in the production of good quality bricks. This also used to be the site of the main depot for the Malayan Railway during the administration of the British. The British brought in people from Indian to work the railway and the depot and many lived in quarters around Brickfields where the Indian community grew. Some of the old quarters can still be found around Jalan Rozario.

Today the depot has been transformed into KL Sentral.
For the past few years, in October, the vacant lots around KL Sentral have become home to a festive fairground of more stalls and entertainment.
Retailers from India, Pakistan as well as local merchants vie as early as six months in advance for a stall at this popular event even though rental rates steadily increase each year.

Incense burners and clay ornaments from India

Hyderabad pearls ; semi-precious stones

Fine cotton fabric from Pakistan

A local textile and garment shop run by Jessie

3-D images & idols

As night falls, there is magic in the air.And if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a Golden Chariot pass by. . .

. . . in Sentral during the festival of lights.