Little India lights up to receive Manmohan, Razak (Second Lead)By Minu Jain, IANS
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR - Diwali is still some days away but the Little India business area here has already been lit up as it prepares to receive Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Tun Razak Wednesday.
Manmohan Singh and Razak will jointly open the renovated area in Brickfields in central Kuala Lumpur where the majority of those living are of Indian origin. Malaysia is home to 2.1 million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Hindus from Tamil Nadu.
The street and its adjoining lanes as well as nearby parks have been transformed into an outdoor Diwali market, attracting bargain hunters, the New Straits Times reported Tuesday. Non-Hindus also frequent the bazaar.
The majestic Arulmigu Mariamman Temple in the area has a regular flow of visitors who are glad to combine worship with shopping.
From cookies to fireworks, Punjabi costumes to statues, shoppers get almost everything they want in Little India.
The Malaysian government, it is learnt, plans to spend $35 million to upgrade the area and beautify it so it emerges a cultural hub for the Indian community in Kuala Lumpur.
The project to transform Brickfields had been announced in October 2009 by Prime Minister Razak.
The Temple of Fine Arts, the largest Indian cultural organization that offers courses in dance, music and the arts, is also located in Brickfields.