Road to Thaipusam
The Thaipusam is a festival where is celebrated by Hindus around the world on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). Astro Ulagam’s Road to Thaipusam 2020 is an 8- documentation collection from Malaysia. This series highlighted 3 key digital series which were Thaipusam Special Short bytes, Heroes of Thaipusam and Docu- Reality Story, My Vow. Mojo Projects Sdn Bhd took over the production of the series and Road to Thaipusam series was premiered on Astro Ulagam channel from 5th February 2020 to 7th February 2020.
The first digital series was Thaipusam Special Short Bytes consisting of Ratham Documentary, Insight into Batu Caves Murugan Statue and Thaipusam-Why Malaysia. Ratham Documentary was a video content that shares Golden chariot which will go in procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in the city to the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Batu Caves. They started in the wee hours of the morning (04:00) with a procession from Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur’s oldest Hindu temple carrying a golden chariot with a statue of Lord Subramanian, it is accompanied by several hundred worshippers and arrives at Batu Caves by noon. Insight into Batu Caves Murugan Statue was a video that shares about the Lord Murugan statue, which is 42.7sk meters high(140 ft) is the tallest statue in Malaysia, and second Hindu deity in the world.
Last segment of this first series was Thaipusam-Why Malaysia. Malaysia has one of the biggest communities of South Indians (Tamil Cultured) diaspora. With Batu Caves having one of the unique infrastructures which has attracted the attention of many tourists locally and internationally. Thaipusam in Malaysia is the largest and most significant Hindu public display in the country. Batu Caves is one of the Holiest Shrine Outside of Malaysia due to devotion & spiritual vibes of the devotee.
Heroes of Thaipusam was the second digital series of Road to Thaipusam. Cleaners were one of the heroes of Thaipusam 2020, 30 contract workers and 10 municipal council were working together to tidy up the area following the festivities and the cost for 10 days of clean-up. Every year, more than 1,500 volunteers from 14 government agencies will be tasked to assist the celebration including medical and emergency assistance.
The Health Ministry provided 24-hour medical service at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple grounds in Batu Caves for three days in conjunction with the Thaipusam festival. Government Agencies were involved in safety & security management including Health Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysian Civil Defence Department while NGOs include Malaysian Red Crescent, Malaysian Indian Voluntary Ambulance Services, St Johns Ambulance Malaysia, KTM Komuter and Sapura. Kavadi Makers are appreciated as they are required to start the preparation of Kavadi 48 days before two-day Thaipusam festival.
The devotees prepared themselves by following strict purification austerities. Uthavum Karanggal effort video shared the journey of volunteers who helped the disabled devotees to fulfil their vows and complete their prayers without difficulties.
The final digital series of Road to Thaipusam Documentation was Docu- Reality Story. “My Vow” was a docu-reality video that shared the journey of a devotee going through her Thaipusam pledge as well as those who have experience. The video started off with the devotee sharing her story and why it’s important to her as she proves her gratitude to Lord Murugan. The video has showcased the temple experience and snippets of the devotees doing the “Paal Kavadi” during Thaipusam. The video has summarized the experience of “Paal Kavadi” and to understand how they feel about performing their vows.