Navratri at Singapore’s Sri Mariamman Temple: Venerating the Universal Mother

Navratri at Singapore’s Sri Mariamman Temple: Venerating the Universal Mother

Beginnings and endings are two sides of the same coin. As Shradh ends, Navratri begins. As the ancestors return to Pitru Loka, Hindus begin their worship of the Goddess Durga. During Navratri (nine nights), devotees venerate the divine femininity which gives birth to all creation. She is ‘Ma’, the Universal Mother. The festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin. Continue reading Navratri at Singapore’s Sri Mariamman Temple: Venerating the Universal Mother

Musings of an overseas Indian: adapting Hindu customs for the diaspora

Musings of an overseas Indian: adapting Hindu customs for the diaspora

I’ve been a minority my whole life. In Singapore, I’m Indian. In India, I’m Singaporean. In Britain, I’m Asian. In Japan, I’m a gaigokujin. Foreigner. The essence of who I am is truly lost in all the labels that people keep giving me. I went to the National Gallery in Singapore last weekend, and the docent told me – ‘Enjoy the rest of your stay here’. No, the comment did not annoy me. To be honest, I thought it was quite amusing. Our preconceived notions about who and what people are can be startlingly different from the truth.  Continue reading Musings of an overseas Indian: adapting Hindu customs for the diaspora

Sri Mariamman Temple: Rediscovering my Hindu Heritage in Singapore

Sri Mariamman Temple: Rediscovering my Hindu Heritage in Singapore

One footstep led to the next and before I knew it, I was in front of Sri Mariamman Temple. I felt a strange indescribable sense of deja vu as I gazed at the gopuram of Singapore’s oldest Hindu Temple. I have been here before. I know this place. Its soul reverberates with mine as though the two were one and the same.  Continue reading Sri Mariamman Temple: Rediscovering my Hindu Heritage in Singapore

The Expat Returns Home: playing tour guide in Singapore

The Expat Returns Home: playing tour guide in Singapore

I’ve been a traveller on the road for the past 12 years so it’s strange to suddenly find myself back home and playing tour guide to visitors from abroad. I used to do it a lot growing up. I come from a family of merchants – and hosting our international suppliers was part of my job description. But 12 years can change a lot – especially in fast-paced Singapore.  Continue reading The Expat Returns Home: playing tour guide in Singapore