A different Deepavali this year as Malaysians share hope

The battle against Covid-19 continues with the Conditional Movement Control Order imposed in most parts of the country.

And the Deepavali celebration tomorrow will be a toned-down affair.

It has been gloomy throughout the year. Many Malaysians lost their jobs or saw their salaries slashed.

Budget 2021, which saw allocations based on race and religion, raised eyebrows.

The series of water cuts in the Klang Valley, with the latest disruption on Tuesday night, further infuriated an already tired and depressed population.

Will there finally be light in this darkness ahead of the festival of lights?

Twentytwo13 speaks to several Malaysians celebrating Deepavali to gather their views and hopes for a brighter future.

S. Kisona, 22, national badminton player

I represent the country and even though I don’t know our badminton supporters personally, they have been supportive of me. It’s beyond race. It’s about doing well for Malaysia, for Malaysians.

Everyone goes through the same thing, everyone will have stress but it’s about being strong and learning to overcome such things. There is no point being sad, worried or frustrated all the time.

Despite the challenges, I believe that you must kindle up your own light and create your own happiness.

Kisona in action during the President’s Cup held in September.

I won’t be returning to Seremban for Deepavali. The number of Covid-19 cases there is still high. This will be my third time not celebrating Deepavali with my family. Before this, it was due to tournaments but I always head back to catch up with my family. Not this time though.

I’ll surely miss my mum’s cooking, the thosai, mutton curry, briyani and chicken sambal. I’m already feeling hungry thinking of her cooking!

Prem Kumar Nair, 45, editor in a publishing house in Kuala Lumpur

There are many restrictions this year and the celebrations won’t be the same as we are facing many challenges.

People have lost their jobs and many are struggling to make ends meet.

Prem says many have given up a lot this year and have been forced to tighten their belts.

For the elders, festive season is a time where they get to spend time with their children and grandchildren but it is going to be difficult as there are so many restrictions.

Many will not be able to travel to their hometowns to celebrate with their loved ones.

We just have to look at the positives and rely on technology this Deepavali to talk and see our loved ones and hope for things to improve soon.

Datuk P. Gunasilan, 69, town planning consultant

There are a lot of things people are going through this year, especially how our economy has taken a beating.

Gunasilan says the biggest impact for many at this time of the year is not being able to be with their loved ones.

I was hoping to meet my aged uncles in Ipoh this Deepavali, but this is not possible and we also can’t go to temples.

Deepavali will just be a quiet affair at home with my wife and two daughters. We must make the best of this time, right now.

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