After two years of gruelling economic uncertainty and social restrictions, this year’s post-pandemic recovery phase has been a much-welcomed respite for all communities in KL and nationwide. Covid-19 restrictions and safety measures in the socioeconomic aspects were finally lifted as we head into the endemic phase.
As we continue to gain agility and slowly rebuild a semblance of pre-pandemic times, more industries have positively begun to regain the pace. The public are also more assured in resuming their lives with confidence. In KL, as the world is recouping and regaining balance, life is also moving on to catch up on the lost two years.
The Malaysian Way
This is very evident in the way we are continuing to celebrate festivals the way we always have in the past – festive street bazaars with festive cuisines and paraphernalia as well as celebratory preparations including traditional attires, jewellery, make-up and many more. Popular locations such as Brickfields, Jalan TAR, Petaling Street, Chow Kit and Pasar Seni are some of the preferred venues due to the accessibility to public transportation and the central locations in the city.
These bazaars are more than just a show of economic comeback of the new normal, it also sends a strong message that is proving the society is ready to resume life as it was. It is an unmistakeable sign of the readiness by every level of society to manoeuvre the post pandemic stage of livelihood including the incorporation of extra safety measures such as a wider use of contactless transactions, e-wallets and a safer social-physical distancing.
Starting with this year’s successful Aidilfitri artisanal markets and various bazaars in April 2022, we have gained impetus to continue with our Malaysian way of celebrating not just our festivals but also our beautiful diversity.
Local Street Culture
The street bazaars are one of Malaysia’s defining cultural markers - ordinary streets and open public spaces are transformed into lively market spaces that celebrate every festival and local occasions from every race and religion in Malaysia. Supported with the strong street food culture, cheaper alternative to conventional retail in brick-and-mortar establishments and convenient locations, the combination of these elements become the big call for the culture of bazaars and street markets.
Festival bazaars and street markets including ‘pasar malam’ or night market in KL somewhat redefine the public spaces in the local context due to the unique quality of their impermanence, affordability and informality, which are the pull factors for the visitors to go and enjoy the experience while they last. It is a subculture of living in the urban realm where affordability is becoming an important part of the livelihood.
A Melting Pot
These are the spaces where locals and tourists alike can experience and celebrate the many local cultures festivals, sample a variety of local food and acquire various merchandise at affordable prices all in one place. To outside visitors, the street bazaars and markets are the best way to encounter local people, music, art, flavours and products.
This season, Malaysians are celebrating the arrival of Deepavali, the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus all over the world. Bazaars have popped up in strategic locations catering for not only the celebration’s every need, but showcasing the best of Malaysian food and culture. Here are the two top Deepavali bazaars happening now for you to enjoy:
Pesta Deepavali Brickfields 2022 @ NU Sentral Open Car Park, Brickfields from 14-24 October 2022
Probably with the best location and the most foot traffic, DP Ganaa Network Malaysia has brought Pesta Deepavali Brickfields 2022 to KL’s very own Little India. Strategically located next to KL’s main public transportation hub KL Sentral, the ten-day alfresco bazaar is designed to give you direct access to the celebration of Deepavali at its best with the many shopping booths offered on site.
Promising 160 hours of pure retail and entertainment, the event started with music festival by popular local and international artists, and exciting activites like kolam drawing competition, cooking demonstration, fashion shows, children talent shows and game shows are part of the festival’s itinerary and will keep visitors entertained.
20th Deepavali Carnival 2022 @ Open Car Park B National Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil from 15 to 23 October 2022
Hosted by the event company Agenda Suria Communications Sdn Bhd, Deepavali Carnival is Malaysia's Largest and Longest running Deepavali Consumer Fair. What started with just a small shopping event by group of vendors in 2002 grew into the largest outdoor Deepavali carnival in the country, housing hundreds of booths and attracting more than 500,000 visitors every year.
Now complete with giant tents and fully air-conditioned for visitors’ comfort, the carnival boasts spacious area with open parking and easy public transportation access by LRT. True to its name, this event also hosts various entertainment programs as well as the usual retail experience for Deepavali merchandise, fashion, food and household items.