Deepavali and the Malaysian Red Crescent (26th Oct. 2019)

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The Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) is busy all year round, but they make an extra special effort during festive seasons to help those who might otherwise be alone or missing their families at this time of year. So, with the Hindu festival of Deepavali being celebrated on Sunday 27th, the MRC arranged to distribute 150 food packages on 26th  October, and a further 200 on 27th October.

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Our primary destination today was Seelong, near Senai International Airport. We drove to a wooden pallet-making factory where the aroma of wood chip filled the air. 

The charming MRC personal got ready to distribute the food packages and then wondered where everyone was?

Earlier this year I had been with the MRC when they distributed similar food packages to immigrant workers at the Indian Mosque in Johor Bahru. But there is no easy equivalent to gather a large group of Hindu workers together at one spot. So, boxes of food packages were driven off to another location while we continued with other tasks for the day. The MRC makes sure to help all Malaysians, whatever their faith.

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As you can see from the photos, the workers here seemed a little bemused as to what was going on, but I am pretty sure they must have enjoyed the food. We had some of the packages in the vehicle with us and the delicious smell of chicken biryani was making me very hungry!

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Then we heard a huge transport lorry arrive bringing wooden planks to the factory, and the lucky driver got a free lunch and thanked us with a huge smile!

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Next we drove off to Taman Sri Stulang to the home of a gentleman called Siva, for a late lunch. Hes the guy in the white teeshirt on the left. On our way out, we bumped into another guy sitting on a bench by the building and he was very happy to receive some food packages for his family. He may not have been a Hindu, but he was another lucky man today caught by the generosity of the MRC. When you see all the new glossy highrise buildings in Johor Bahru, it is easy to forget that the majority of people do not live in such luxury and consider themselves lucky just to have a roof over their heads.

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© Helen Gray 2020