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  • Writer's pictureNadi Bangi

UKM Chinese students experiences Deepavali in Kuala Lumpur

Updated: Jan 10

Writer: Han Baoting, Lu Jingjing

Editor: Liang Zhixi, Wang Bohan

(Photo resource: Han Baoting )

DENGKIL, 12 Nov Two international students from Nadi Bangi embarked on a cultural journey as they joined their Hindu classmate, Hemma, to celebrate Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, at her hometown in Kuala Lumpur.

Deepavali, celebrated annually in October according to the Gregorian calendar, aligns with the Hindu lunar calendar, starting on the thirteenth day of the dark half of Ashwin and continuing for five days. The festival peaks on the third day, which is the main day of Deepavali, with the fourth day marking the start of Kartika, the Hindu New Year. This year, the celebration at Hemma's residence on November 12 provided a unique window into this vibrant festival for the Chinese students.

The celebration, which took place on the evening of November 12 at Q23, Jalan Arked 1/2, also coincided with a special family occasion - Hemma's mother's birthday. Greeted warmly by Hemma and her family, Lu and Han presented a birthday gift to Hemma's mother, beginning their evening of cultural immersion and exchange.

Hemma, eager to share her culture, introduced her family, as she explained Deepavali's significance as a festival symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The family's home was adorned with lanterns, creating a festive atmosphere.

The Chinese students learned about traditional Deepavali customs during their visit. They participated during the festive where they were introduced to local dietary customs, such as the avoidance of beef and pork and the practice of eating with their hands. This was a novel experience for Lu and Han, offering them a hands-on understanding of local traditions.

A highlight of the evening was the setting off of fireworks, an experience particularly special for Lu and Han. They explained to Hemma that the Chinese government banned people from setting off fireworks, even during the Chinese New Year, out of concern for the air environment. Therefore, they have not watched fireworks up close for many years. The Deepavali fireworks experience was uniquely enjoyable and unforgettable for them.

That night, Hemma's mother gave purple envelopes to the Chinese students, who expressed their gratitude. It is understood that the elders distribute purple envelopes to the younger generations on Deepavali, which also has the meaning of "auspiciousness" and blessings.The activities to celebrated Deepavali not only allowed students to understand the relevant knowledge of Deepavali, but also allowed them to deeply appreciate the warmth of family gatherings, highlighting the message of unity and light conveyed by Deepavali.

(Photo resource: Han Baoting )

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