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Friday, November 9, 2012

Have Malaysian Malls Given Deepavali A Miss ??

KUALA LUMPUR: With Deepavali just around the corner, one would expect to see shopping malls in the city decked in various decorations to welcome the Festival of Lights.
However, it would appear that one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar has been given a pass by most major malls within the Klang Valley.
Checks by Malaysian Digest suggested that the extent of the decorations displayed, if any, were nowhere near those which were put up to welcome other national-level festivals such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Chinese New Year, despite Deepavali falling next Tuesday.
At Suria KLCC, which usually displays a huge diorama during Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas, there was only had a small-sized kolam located in front of its main entrance to welcome Deepavali.
The Calvin Klein product promotion at the concourse area of Suria KLCC.The Calvin Klein product promotion at the concourse area of Suria KLCC.Its main concourse area was ‘monopolised’ by a Calvin Klein product promotion.
Meanwhile, over at Pavilion KL, its concourse was dominated by a Samsung product promotion. Inside the mall, only minor decorations were erected such as a peacock-shaped mini-kolam at one of its entrances and several yellow-coloured buntings on its corridor pillars to wish Hindus a happy Deepavali celebration.
The decorations were better at Berjaya Times Square where there is a huge kolam erected in front of its main entrance.
As for its concourse area, there were renovation works being carried out to set up a stage for an upcoming Christmas musical.
The Samsung product promotion at Pavilion KL's concourse area.The Samsung product promotion at Pavilion KL's concourse area.Meanwhile, at One Utama Shopping Centre in Bandar Utama, there were no signs of any decoration to signify the coming of the Hindu celebration. The concourse area at the mall’s new wing appeared devoid of any Deepavali decoration.
At Sunway Pyramid, the only Deepavali decorations in place were coloured lights set up outside the mall, a small kolam located in front of one of the entrances and flowers lined up along one of the mall’s corridors.
The issue of lax Deepavali decorations was first raised by Hulu Selangor MP, P. Kamalanathan, in his Twitter on Monday. Attached with a photo of the Suria KLCC concourse, he tweeted from his handle @Pkamalanathan: "Instead of Deepavali Decorations @SuriaKLCCMall have decided to do something else - Very irresponsible. Why?"
Some flowers adorning the corridors of Sunway Pyramid.Some flowers adorning the corridors of Sunway Pyramid.His tweet garnered some feedback from the Indian community who expressed regret over the ‘ignorance’ of shopping malls which did not promote the celebration.
When contacted later, Kamalanathan questioned why decorations for the festivals of other religions were far merrier than those of Deepavali.
"I hope all shopping complexes as well as companies will make a better initiative to ensure that Deepavali decorations are at least on par with those of other national-level festivals.
"It is the responsibility of the malls' management to showcase the different cultures and ethnicities there are in this country," he told Malaysian Digest.
The huge kolam located at the entrance of Berjaya Times Square.The huge kolam located at the entrance of Berjaya Times Square.Meanwhile, Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, M. Manoharan said every mall should have Deepavali decorations at this point, no matter how small.
"We need to give Deepavali the same treatment and promotion as other festivals," said the DAP party member when contacted.
Deepavali, a five-day festival which starts on the 13th day of the Hindu calendar, is celebrated worldwide and is a public holiday in Malaysia.
In the Gregorian calendar, Deepavali falls between mid-October and mid-November.


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