Lord Skanda-Murugan

Synopsis: "Thai Poosaman and Kavadi Festival in Seychelles"

Visit the Seychelles

by V. Sivasupramanlam

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands south of the equator in the Indian Ocean. It has a multi-ethnic multi-religious and multi-cultural population. Although Tamil settlements date as far back as 1772, there was a lack of visible Tamil-Hindu identity. There was no established tradition of Hindu worship or outward cultural expressions until the formation of the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam in 1984.

The Sangam's aim of building a Hindu temple was achieved with the opening of the Arulmigu Navasakti Vinayagar temple in May 1992, the first and the only Hindu temple in Seychelles. MaheThe temple became the base for all the Hindus to rally together to give expression to their cultural and religious identity. This was well articulated by organising the first Thai Poosam Kavadi festival in 1993. Ever since then, Kavadi Festival has come to stay as a national festival with all the other communities joining the celebrations.

The purpose of this paper is to articulate to the Hindu world how the Muruga cult in the form of the Kavadi Festival can have a tremendous impact in preserving Hindu cultural values for generations to come in such a remote and isolated destination as Seychelles -- also known as Paradise on Earth.

The author

V. Sivasupramanlam
P.O. Box 644
Telephone: 002 832-1507
E-mail: vijaratnamsiva@hotmail.com