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Sunday, 07 October 2018 00:00

A Joyous Deepavali Celebration

Written by  Kok Kim Tho & Mow Jiun Ting, KL & Selangor / Translated by Lim Rui Lin

Volunteer Teo Hock Lin (back row, 2nd right) coordinated the Deepavali celebration for Sivagami and her family as they were unable to make it to the celebration at KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall.  [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]

Sivagami has been bedridden for many years. Therefore, she was unable to participate in any of the Deepavali celebrations held at the KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. On this particular year, Tzu Chi volunteers decided to bring the celebration to her home. At the same time, they have invited two families that were also under the care of Tzu Chi to celebrate this auspicious occasion together.


Four years ago, Sivagami tried to commit suicide due to domestic violence. After the unsuccessful attempt, she went into a vegetative state. Her family is unable to attend any events because of her constant need of care. Her mother, Jayam, described her as a caring and filial child. “She would come home every Deepavali to help with house chores and decorations but….” said a tearful Jayam.

When volunteer Mow Jiun Ting, who is currently caring for Sivagami, suggested to Jayam that they come to her home to celebrate Deepavali this year, Jayam was happy initially. However, after looking around her home, she looked worried instead. Jiun Ting immediately told her to not worry as everything would be provided by Tzu Chi.

Appreciating cultural diversities

On October 7, 2018, Jayam prepared fried rice, vegetarian curry and drinks for the occasion. Aside from celebrating the occasion, she hoped that this simple gesture was able to show her gratitude towards the volunteers. The latter, on the other hand, prepared a variety of vegetarian food, such as, roti canai, spaghetti, curry puffs, fruits, and more.

Sivagami’s 17-year-old daughter, Danusha, also made a Kolam to welcome the guests. “Kolam is one of our traditions. Every family would decorate one to celebrate Deepavali,” said Danusha.

Two other families, Kandasamy and Sathia Devi, were invited to join in the celebration. All 19 of them and 16 volunteers met and had a great time.

The celebration started with Danusha performing a dance with a friend of hers. They were dressed in traditional Indian costumes and performed two dances. Following that, volunteers played the clip “Embracing All Beings”, which gives an account of the origins and missions of Tzu Chi, allowing the attendees to better understand Tzu Chi’s spirit and humanitarian work worldwide.

Sending love to Indonesia

Then, everyone was invited to pray for the Sulawesi quake victims. Sathia Devi could not hold back her tears thinking that the disaster had turned the world into a living hell and had ruined many lives.

Jayam, who has financial difficulties, not only donated for the quake victims herself, but also let her bedridden daughter to contribute to the cause. She prayed for the victims to be well, and likewise, for her daughter as well.

Coming together as one

“We are thankful to have so many people celebrating Deepavali with us today. It has been four years since our family was this happy,” Jayam said happily, while choking back tears.

When volunteers came to Sivagami’s bedside, she looked as if she wanted to get up from her bed to join the happy celebration. Jayam revealed that in these three years, Sivagami would not respond to any guests who visited her. But, each time Tzu Chi volunteers visit, she would give an excited expression.

Danusha, who is a beneficiary of Tzu Chi Happy Schooling Scheme, is a sensible and helpful child. She would offer help to take care of her bedridden mother, feeding her milk and so on.

“I am very happy today. I will study hard and I hope that when I grow up, I will have the ability to take care of my mum and grandparents,” said Danusha, who hopes that one day she could help lessen the burden on her aged grandparents.

Volunteer Teo Hock Lin, who was the coordinator of the event, remarked smilingly after the event, “This celebration gave us so much love and warmth, not only the families, but the rapport between them and volunteers has definitely improved.”

Everyone bonded over the 2-hour session, with universal love seeded in their hearts on this meaningful occasion.

 

 

Jayam happily prepared vegetarian dishes for the event early in the morning. Aside from celebrating the occasion, she hoped that this simple gesture was able to show her gratitude towards the volunteers. [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]   Sivagami’s daughter, Danusha, promised to study hard with the hope that she will be able to take care of her mother and grandparents one day. [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]

Jayam happily prepared vegetarian dishes for the event early in the morning. Aside from celebrating the occasion, she hoped that this simple gesture was able to show her gratitude towards the volunteers. [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]
 
Sivagami’s daughter, Danusha, promised to study hard with the hope that she will be able to take care of her mother and grandparents one day. [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]
 
Volunteers shared with the care recipients about the Indonesia earthquake and inspired them to give their love to the victims. [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]   Jayam thanked everyone for celebrating Deepavali with her as her family had not been this happy for the last four years. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]

Volunteers shared with the care recipients about the Indonesia earthquake and inspired them to give their love to the victims. [Photograph by Wong Mun Heng]
 
 
Jayam thanked everyone for celebrating Deepavali with her as her family had not been this happy for the last four years. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]