South East CDC volunteers celebrate Deepavali with devotees at historic temple

ST VIDEO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Volunteers and devotees witnessing the traditional Deepavali prayer ceremony - the Vasantha Mandapa Pooja.
Volunteers and devotees witnessing the traditional Deepavali prayer ceremony - the Vasantha Mandapa Pooja.ST PHOTO: FELICIA CHOO

SINGAPORE - It was a coming together of different races and religions as 50 volunteers from the South East Community Development Council (CDC) celebrated Deepavali with around 500 devotees at the historic Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple at Ceylon Road on Saturday (Oct 29).

The volunteers, aged 15 to 73, went on a tour of the 140-year-old temple and learnt about Hindu practices and deities, as well as the significance of Deepavali.

They also witnessed the traditional Deepavali prayer ceremony - the Vasantha Mandapa Pooja.

On the significance of the visit in the context of racial and religious terrorism around the world, South East District Mayor Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman said: "We want to make sure we don't take our social cohesion...our religious harmony for granted.

"We must make sure that Singaporeans appreciate that harmony."

The visit to the temple - recognised as a historic site by the National Heritage Board - was part of South East CDC's efforts to build greater awareness and appreciation of racial and social harmony.