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MikeW
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Feb, 2016
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Kavadi

I encountered this modest, stoical Tamil gentleman in Singapore at the end of his gruelling Thaipusam Festival pilgrimage. Gruelling because he bore over one thousand temporary piercings: the initial piercings, the painful journey, and then the removal of the piercings.
Kavadi "Burden” Attam "Dance" is a ceremonial sacrifice and offering practiced by devotees during the worship of Lord Murugan, the Hindu God of War. It is a central part of the festival of Thaipusam and emphasizes debt bondage. The kavadi itself is a physical burden, the bearing of which is used by the devotee to implore Murugan for assistance, usually on behalf of a loved one who is in need of healing, or as a means of balancing a spiritual debt. Devotees walk and dance along a pilgrimage route while bearing these burdens.

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Won Contest Finalist in Cultures of the World Photo ContestFebruary, 2018

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