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The Musalman (Muslim) of Pokhara, Nepal

In Pokhara, we asked the guide to locate any mosque nearby the Lake Side instead of conducting City Tour in Pokhara. After about 30 minutes going around and asking local folks, we finally met Jame Masjid Aqsa at Pokhara-13, Miyapatan. The local muslim claimed that they have been here for 500 years. Almost 20 years ago, this place was very famous by the name Kundahar, but Kundahar is bigger than Miyapatan. According to the history, “Miya” is respective title of local mountainous Muslim given by other communities and “Patan” means the ground. We can easily guest the historical fact that Miyapatan means the land used by Muslim.

We can’t explore the mosque as there was on going renovation being held, several section of the mosque are closed due to that.

Jame Masjid – E – AQSA, Pokhara-13, Miyapatan

It was at this mosque I met a Muazin & Mr Mohamed Shafie, 81.

Mohamed Shafie, 81, a descendant of a Sheikh.

The Muazin however politely denied to be taken photograph when I asked. There’s no activity at the mosque at that moment but he mentioned that there is a Madrasa nearby which he volunteered to guide us to the Madrasa.

Local Canteen outside the Jame Mosque

Abdul Rahim, 62, President of Anjuman Islahul Muslemin (Islamic Organization in Miyapatan)

 

 

Madarrsa Islamia, Pokhara-13, Miyapatan

Madarssa Islamia, Pokhara-13, Miyapatan

The Classroom

After few shots of the school and its environment, I suddenly became weak and I can’t continue shooting or do anything even just looking at the kids. Then, there was tears in my eyes, I put myself as a father of the kids where we don’t have other option to offer for the best education for our kids due to poor economic status. There were many out there where parent couldn’t afford their children to school. But you don’t have an option. As a father, I couldn’t accept this kind of failure.

The school conduct only 2 hours a day for religious teaching and the remaining time if for national education. There is about 200 student and only 3 teachers.

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Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Thaipusam Festival At Kota Kinabalu

Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak,  Penang & Selangor.

I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here.

With the information given, I managed to find the location where it being held. It was at Meruntum waterfront near Sabindo Traffic Light. I can’t wait a friend of mine, Rade to arrive when I saw the ceremony is already started. During the ceremony, I’m still curious will be there any piercing like what we used to see at Batu Caves. I decided to stay when the group of devotees carrying a pot of milk walks to Sri Subramaniam Temple. Then I just realise that the piercing ceremony will be held.

Since this was my first time covering Thaipusam Festival, I have no idea how and what to expect. These are some images I took this morning with Fujifilm X-Pro1 + Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4.

Pot of Milk

I can’t stay until the end of ceremony (I wish I could), I have another priority for family & to perform Friday Prayer. I learn a lot about this festival, next year I’ll aim for the eve Thaipusam. It much more interesting in Batu Caves, but I prefer to highlight the festival at Kota Kinabalu.

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