The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Thaipusam

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We are in Malaysia for the Thaipusam. At the first full moon of the Tamil month named "Thai" when the Pusam star is highest in the sky, the Tamil community and others celebrate the festival of Thaipusam.

People fast, wash, pray, and give thanks by various acts of devotion. Simple acts of loyalty and care are to carry pots of milk. Others seek to purify themselves further with the self-imposed discipline and hardship of piercing their skin, tongue, body, or face with skewers.

Men carry altars called kavadis, attached to their bodies with skewers piercing their skin all over their bodies and faces. Fruit are hung from the skin with hooks. The kvadis pulled by pure human devotion range in size up to the enormous vel kavadi, attached by 108 vels pierced through the chest and back.

Some of the extreme piercing practices have been pointed out to be unhealthy and contrary to the intention of the Hinduism and non-Hindu beliefs that wanted to create a spirit of positive blessing to the festival.

There are claims that devotees enter a trance, feel no pain, do not bleed, leave no scars, and suffer no infection. That is why we are here to study. We will let you know what we find - click here for Thaipusam- Exercise of Body and Spirit.

Photo by beggs
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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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