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Locals and tourists in Malaysia make full use of public holiday

The Star/ANN | Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Iranian Khatereh Malekian (right), 42, sharing a light moment with five-year-old Durga Andrew during the Deepavali celebration in Sri Mahamariamman Temple near Petaling Street.

Many people took the opportunity to spend the Deepavali holiday out and about in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.

While those celebrating the Festival of Lights started their day early at the temples, others made a beeline for shopping malls and tourist destinations in the Klang Valley.

Kuala Lumpur

Many temples, tourist spots and shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur were filled with locals and tourists during Deepavali yesterday.

Deepavali, which is also known as the Festival of Lights, is an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world.

Some roads leading to the city, including Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Imbi, were congested in the afternoon.

At noon, the Sri Mahamariamman Temple at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee was still crowded with devotees and tourists.

Cars were seen parked at the elevated sidewalks along the temple.

Many prayed for blessings and protection for their families and friends.

Despite the crowd and heavy traffic, people also took the opportunity to go to shopping malls like Suria KLCC.

Many foreigners were seen taking photos at the fountain and taking a breather while sitting on the grass and enjoying the view.

However, heavy rain at about 1.30pm caused some to seek shelter at the mall while others waited at the entrance for the rain to stop.

A couple from Wales, Pamela and Christopher Morgan, were seen waiting for the rain to stop.

"We were unaware that today was a public holiday and it was Deepavali as we just arrived in the city yesterday.

"This is our first time in the country, so it is our first visit to the mall and we wanted to explore the park," said Pamela.

She said despite the poor weather conditions, they were going to wait for the rain to stop and take a walk in the park.

A family of seven, dressed in traditional Indian costumes, were seen walking around the mall.

Kumar Raman Kutty, 33, said his family went to the mall since it was a public holiday and it was a chance to spend time as a family.

"We went to watch a Tamil movie here after performing our morning prayers for blessings at a temple in Bangsar," he said.

Kumar, who was with his wife, their three children, his mother and his younger brother, said they would be going to Brickfields later in the day to visit his father-in-law.

Big crowds were also spotted at KL Sogo as some were seen shopping while others enjoyed performances outside the mall.

Petaling JayaTraffic on the roads leading to and from major shopping malls in Petaling Jaya was very heavy yesterday.

Motorists were in a traffic gridlock heading into 1Utama Shopping Centre, The Curve, Ikea and Ikano Power Centre.

"After going to the temple to do my morning prayers, I took the opportunity to do some last-minute shopping at The Curve," housewife R. Kumari, 38, said.

"There were a lot of other shoppers and the roads were congested.

"It took me an hour to get in and find a parking spot."

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