GEORGETOWN: Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah has advised devotees to be mindful of wastage during Thaipusam tomorrow, with processions starting today and ending on Friday.
During Thaipusam, devotees often carry “Paal Kudam” (milk pots) on their heads or shoulders as an offering to the Hindu deity Lord Murugan.
The milk collected is then used in the “Abhishekam” ritual, in which it is used to bathe a representation of the deity, usually carried out by a temple priest.
“For instance, if there are extra and unopened packets of milk, donate them to the less fortunate. Milk is expensive and many underprivileged families cannot afford to buy it.
“It would be such a waste to throw away all the milk when we can practise responsible and compassionate sharing. Thaipusam is not just a time for personal devotion but also an opportunity to express kindness and support to those in need,” he said.
“By donating unopened packets of milk to underprivileged B40 families, orphanages, old folks homes and shelters, we reflect the spirit of charity and inclusivity, making the act of expressing gratitude and paying penance more meaningful for everyone involved.
“Even when breaking coconuts, we should observe thrift and non-wastage. Rather than indulging in extravagance, we should adopt a mindful approach, using resources sparingly and avoiding unnecessary consumption,” said Murugiah.
The Consumers Association of Penang and Malaysia Hindu Sangam Penang State Council also urged devotees to refrain from using plastics and polystyrene, and not to waste food and drinks.
“Plastic takes a long time to (biodegarde) and becomes a burden to the environment, causing pollution. Paper plates and containers, as well as paper cups, reusable bags and even plates made from leaves, could be better options. Stainless steel cups, which can be washed and reused, are also good options,” he said.
“We hope temple management and operators will do away with plastic and polystyrene food containers when serving food to devotees. We also urge those serving food to reduce the portion size when giving out free food,” said the association’s education officer N.V. Subbarow and the council’s vice-chairman A. Tharman in a joint statement.