The celebration of lights is a festival to bring hope to all, that there is a greater good in all of us. As we struggle with life, rich or poor, there is always one day of our ancestry that is spent to commemorate that struggle positively. And for the Indian community, that is Deepavali.
The Festival of Lights has existed for 2539 years. But it’s only in this era, the 21st century that we see its tradition dying rapidly amongst the young and modern. Even exteriors of Hindu Temples were modernised. I believe people would call it an upgrade, but it seems that they are losing their old skins to be new and trying to keep up with times rather than preserving the longevity of tradition.
PETRONAS, in an effort to rejuvenate the spirit of Deepavali recently sent media and a production team to Penang to capture its historical essence of inner peace and harmony.
The Nagarathar Sivan temple was the first stop. Built by the Chettiyas of Penang Island, this temple’s work of art has been preserved throughout time.The filming began at the temple, representing the start of Diwali.
We headed to NR Sweets factory next. These sweets symbolises Goodness for the Hindus. It brought families and the community together.
NR Sweets aims to revolutionise the Indian traditional food business.
In the attempt to retain the original flavors of the sweets as close as possible to its original and to reduce the time required to prepare them, the owners have innovated and imported machines that could do so.
In the olden days, our grandmothers would use a batu tumbuk. It was used to pound ingredients to a smooth pulp. In the factory, they did this.
They turned the batu tumbuk into a machine. Completely automated but still keeping the traditional texture of the dough.
During the shoot we were entertained by the fun, lively side of both hosts Aanantha and Aalinda.
They really are great hosts. There’s never a dull moment with them around. On one scene Aanantha had to push Aalinda down the road for a shot and back, When he went down and came back, he was told by the director : “Bro that was seriously awesome, but I’m so sorry, the camera wasn’t rolling” . Everyone had a good laugh!
The last scene of the day was in Penang’s Little India.
The air was filled with a celebratory atmosphere. Rain may be dampening the sales, but it hasn’t dampened the spirits of its people. I was told oil lamps for prayers are flying off the shelf. It’s nice to see that the priority of the festival is still togetherness and God.
Another main part of Deepavali is the shopping. New, colourful clothes beckons from stores and stores packed with designs catering from sarees to punjabi suits.
Most of these designs are inspirations from Bollywood movies. Last year’s designs were mainly chiffon, this year, it is nettings. Every shop seemed to be somewhat similar to each other.
All in all, the idea of Deepavali as the Festival of Lights is a celebration to vanquish evil. It ends darkness and brings enlightenment to the people through a commitment of good deeds and deeper spiritual self.
Watch the webisodes by Petronas to embrace the essence of Deepavali on PETRONAS’ Official YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/PETRONASOfficial from November 12 onwards.