Thaipusam Youth

Lou travelled to Penang, Malaysia in 2007 and took these wonderful photos at a Thaipusam (more on ModBlog) festival..

Local boys taking part in the festival.

See more in Cultural Rituals (Culture)

23 thoughts on “Thaipusam Youth

  1. Gah, how strange to see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child featured on modblog, how quaint and loevly it is to see. Keep it up Sir Roo.

  2. Are they actually pierced? I’m familiar with photos from this festival, but they don’t look it. It just looks like they’re holding the skewers tightly in their mouths so it is tucked against the corners of the mouth.

  3. I agree with #3; it looks as though the boys are holding the skewers between their teeth.

  4. it does kinda look like theyre just biting them…
    hm. i wonder. look at the background in the first little picture on the left. now that’s crazy.

  5. Little kids carrying sharp implements…it’s just like the uk. They’ll be wearing hoodies and baseball caps next…

  6. my boyfriend and I actually just went to a sword swallowing show last week and he had one of those skewers on stage and commented that people who do that are crazy and it’s too extreme for him.

    I dunno, just thought it was funny that a sword swallower was saying ritual skewers that even some kids do are extreme

  7. I know, I was checking out that kid on the right with the offering bowl in the last pic, too…..She’s all “Dude, Im not so sure about this shit…”

  8. oh wow
    i kinda want them to be pierced?
    i find it weird how there is not a whole discussion on this…
    kinda glad at the same time

    this really shows how our cultures differ on ideas of body mods
    its quite diverse

  9. I don’t know.. if these kids are pierced, I must admit I have real uneasy feelings about this, cultural differences aside (in some cultures it’s cool to circumcise baby boys, in others baby girls. I am pretty sure it’s cool for adults to sell their kids to old men for marriage in others – the culture defense never impressed me much). If they are just kind of holding the skewers in their mouth, I think it’s an excellent way of letting them be included in the festival.

  10. For those interested in this – which is an ancient religious custom, though I’m primarily familiar with it as it happens in Thailand at the GinJae festival – it might be worth checking out Peter Christopherson’s (of Coil & Psychic TV) excellent video / musical project under the name ‘Threshold Houseboys Choir’. A review can be found here: and a sample of the video here: though it omits the skewering etc that happens later.

  11. nope, they’re pierced.
    zoom in on the images and it’s easy to see.

    Also, if they were holding the skewers in their mouths, their lips would be pulled back..

    here, they’re not.

  12. I think they might be pierced through their tongues or lower lips…
    So with your tongue drawn back into your mouth…it makes sense that it looks like you’re holding the skewer in the corner of your mouth.

  13. These are the people most of you so desperately wanna be… But they can pull it off without looking like complete twits.

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