Thaipusam In Malaysia: A Hindu Festival In The Tamil Diaspora


by Vadivella Belle, Carl

Thaipusam In Malaysia: A Hindu Festival In The Tamil Diaspora

Price:  US$33.05   (SGD45.90*)
Format:  Paper Back, 402 pages
Published:  2017, Singapore, 1st Edition
ISBN:  9789814695756
SB#:  059849 (130)

About This Book

In Thaipusam in Malaysia: A Hindu Festival in the Tamil Diaspora, the author argues that many scholars who had written about Thaipusam in Malaysia had constructed interpretations of the festivals and the associated forms of worship (especially the kavadi ritual) which suggested their own rationales for Thaipusam. It was contended that each of these analyses was superficially convincing, but when subject to close examination relied upon ethnographies that were far from complete. In treating Thaipusam as sui generis, these scholars had failed to situate either the festival or the kavadi ritual within a sufficiently broad cultural or comparative framework. The main objective of this study has been to closely examine Thaipusam from the "inside", as it were, and to trace the layers of meaning and the recondite vocabularies of this multifaceted and complex festival in terms of its continuing relevance to Malaysian Hindus. He concludes that far from being a cultural aberration, a product of time, place and the peculiar circumstances of Hindu Malaysians, Thaipusam is constructed from deep-rooted elements of South Indian culture, and can only be fully comprehended by locating it within Tamil history, philosophies and belief structures, and in particular those associated with the Tamil deity Murugan.


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