Thaipusam showcases S'pore as multicultural role model

It was indeed heartening that live music was allowed at Thaipusam for the first time in more than 40 years ("Live music gives lift to Thaipusam celebration"; Monday).

I was there to participate in the occasion, where more than 20,000 devotees celebrated the fulfilment of their vows by carrying the kavadi and pots of milk.

With the music, the mood was entirely different this time around.

A dedicated lane for women and children was set up for the first time.

There were volunteers from all walks of life who were involved in helping out during the entire procession.

We did not see this as a Hindu event but as an event jointly celebrated by all races. I could see the joy and smiles on the faces of many locals and expats.

The crowd was amazing and the ambience superb, with chanting and the dizzying beats of Indian drums and music. I was glad to see young people, senior citizens and non-Indians involved in this event.

As a minority group, Hindus are happy to be part of an inclusive society, where we receive support from all races for our holy event.

Singapore will certainly be a hub and a role model for such an event in a multicultural society.

I am glad the Government listened to ground sentiments and eased up on the ban on live music.

I commend the Hindu Endowments Board, the police, volunteers and many others who have touched the Hindu community with their role in making this year's event such a great success.

We must continue to maintain law, order, peace and safety for upcoming Thaipusam festivals, so that we can all enjoy this event and make it even more meaningful.

V. Balu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2016, with the headline 'Thaipusam showcases S'pore as multicultural role model'. Print Edition | Subscribe