Assalamualaikum and Good Day to all...
I spent my previous weekend in my hometown, Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan. Hubby was in Kuantan, thus that weekend was entirely for my only child, Adam.
On Saturday evening when I was on my way to fetch him from the tuition class, I met with this parade. I was raised by my late grandfather and grandmother since I was a baby until now in this village and town.
Since I was able to walk and run and talk, my late grandfather always took me to watch this parade from the side road at the entrance junction to our house. And since then, whenever I was at home, once we hear the festive musics on the road, all the village children including me and my siblings, cousins and neighbours would run or cycle to the roadside to watch the parade. My late grandfather called this as 'Kudu-Kudu' until recently I've found out that this parade's ritual is being called Ratham.
Ratham is a Hindu parade for the festival of Adi Puram. A chariot, traditionally pulled by 2 big and strong cows carrying an image of deity will be maneuvered on the streets around the town . For a better explanation you can read it in Anirudh's Blog.
I passed the parade and rushed to fetch Adam from his tuition center and told him about this parade. He gave me a blank expression. And then I realized. He lived with my father, not with my grandfather. When I asked him whether he had ever watched this parade, he questioned me back with what is Kudu-Kudu? Well, I grew excited knowing that I could reminisce my childhood happy memories with my son. I raced the road and drove Adam back to our village and waited by the road side.
The Ratham parade was approaching.
Our former house was on the left side beyond red signage. That red signage was our nearest grocery store that time and I used to wait for bus to town on the right side during me teenage years. Anyways, you can see a group of devotees walking with the parade.
The priests, the helpers and the devotees were marching with the chariots. Picture above shows the main chariot. Do you see the speaker at the back of the chariot?
Even the pick-up was beautifully decorated.
This one was a smaller chariot.
This parade went the whole day long. Along the route, there were a few tents for their pit stops. These pit stops served drinks, snacks and coconuts. I have no clear idea though on the purpose of the coconuts. Must be some kind of offerings for this festival.
Adam was happy. He looks astonished. He asked me many things and I answered my best within my limited knowledge. He has been saying repeatedly that it was his first experience to watch this parade after all these years of him living right on the route of this parade.
I believed many Malaysians have no idea about this festival. After you read this entry and Anuradh's, you have add up your knowledge as well.
Malaysia is Truly Asia.......