E’s first post in a series on the Malaysian secondary school where she taught English in 2014.
I attended Thaipusam over a year ago, but my experience isn’t something I’ve felt comfortable sharing with many people till now. The event is an annual religious holiday celebrated by Hindus in honor of Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who is known to embody virtue, youth, and power, and is the destroyer of evil.
In 2014, I spent ten months in the small village of Maran, Malaysia, teaching English. Our village didn’t have too much going on, with the exception of a massive outdoor market every Sunday morning.
Everyone in town could be seen there, and I came to really love the weekly ritual of heading to the market (known as a “pasar pagi” in Malaysia) after a run to buy my produce for the week. I’d never lived anywhere that had such a strong sense of community, and looking back now, it’s definitely one of the things I miss most about life in Maran.