Malaysia shopping malls soldier on with vibrant decorations to spread Deepavali joy despite CMCO
BY MELANIE CHALIL MALAY MAIL Tue, Nov 12, 2020
The Gardens Mall pulled out all the stops with an intricately designed kolam featuring Indian classical dancers. — Picture courtesy of The Gardens Mall
PETALING JAYA – Malaysia’s shopping malls may be hit hard by Covid-19 but operators are not letting the conditional movement control order (CMCO) deter them from dressing up their premises for Deepavali.
Malay Mail spoke to several malls to find out how these vital social spaces are creating a festive ambience in the face of a pandemic and if their approach to decorating has changed under the new normal.
Many operators say it’s an important tradition to continue despite the extraordinary times we live in as a way of spreading cheer to patrons and those working in malls.
Sunway Pyramid prides itself with using upcycled decorations from previous materials. — Picture courtesy of Sunway Pyramid
Sunway Malls operations general manager Jason Chin said although there is lesser footfall due to the CMCO, Sunway Pyramid and its sister malls will continue to put up decorations for all festivities as a way of welcoming visitors.
“Albeit scaled-down, these decorations play an important role in representing our cultural celebrations and serve to brighten the overall ambience of our mall, providing some festive cheer not only to shoppers but to the retailers and working population in our malls.”
In conjunction with tomorrow’s celebrations, Sunway Pyramid has opted for a simple pastel-hued kolam and made sure they recycled materials from previous celebrations.
“This Deepavali, our decoration theme is kolam; a simple theme, but we made efforts so the kolam and its surrounding décor exceeds expectations.
“We resort not only to recycling but upcycling some of our previous materials for our festive decoration,” Chin said.
He added that the mall scaled down its décor but not their efforts and that it was crucial to balance ambience and safety in these unprecedented times.
“We will still do our best to create a festive ambience besides ensuring that sanitisation and disinfection are in place multiple times per day in this new normal.
“Most importantly, we hope those who took some time to visit us will continue to adhere to the rules and SOPs set by the authorities,” he said.
Suria KLCC keeps the festive spirit bright with its Deepavali decorations. — Picture courtesy of Suria KLCC
For Suria KLCC, the spiritual message that Deepavali holds – the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance – could not be more apt for the times we live in.
“Despite the challenging environment brought about by the pandemic, malls under the Suria KLCC group are determined to uphold long standing traditions such as the Deepavali festivities to encourage the public to keep their hopes up and to persevere in the face of difficulties while keeping the festive spirit bright,” Suria KLCC chief executive officer Andrew Brien said.
The mall, which has put out a unique festive kolam, festive greetings on digital screens and vertical decorations at Ampang and Ramlee Mall’s centre court, firmly believes that celebrating Deepavali in the new normal is one way to flatten the curve.
“We understand that many places in Klang Valley are still under the CMCO but this does not stop us from trying to provide a welcome relief under such challenging circumstances.”
He added that their efforts do not stop at Suria KLCC but also extends to Alamanda Putrajaya and Mesra Mall Terengganu.
“While we celebrate, we must take precautionary measures as well as adhere to the SOPs set by the Health ministry,” he said.
The image of a Bharatanatyam dancer is among the eight traditional Indian dance forms featured in The Gardens Mall’s kolam design this year. — Picture courtesy of The Gardens Mall
The Gardens Mall
As visitors are still allowed in shopping malls, The Gardens Mall continued the happy tradition of festive decorations to set the ambience for cultural celebrations like Deepavali and Hari Raya.
“The only major change is the decision to not have performances as it’s a time for crowds to gather and watch, and it’s important to us to encourage physical distancing,” a representative from the mall said.
In the absence of physical performance, the mall incorporated elements of traditional Indian performing arts in its kolam design.
This year’s kolam features eight traditional Indian dancers created using coloured rice, rice flour, lentils and white rock powder in bold, eye-catching colours.
“These dancers are drawn with their respective dance poses and attire – namely the Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Odissi, and Sattriya.
“At the centre of the Kolam, atop a platform are various traditional Indian musical instruments on display including the bulbul thara, flute, ganjira, ghatam, harmonium, miruthanga, sithar, tabla, veena, and violin.”
Instagram-worthy flower kolam at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur’s Spanish Steps. — Picture from Instagram/Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion REIT Malls marketing director Kung Suan Ai said Pavilion KL’s festive decorations are renowned for bringing people together.
Committed to bringing the festive mood this Deepavali, the mall not only has bright and cheerful themes to welcome back shoppers but they’ve included new ways of staying in touch with consumers by live streaming the decorations.
“Our festive décor is always highly anticipated, so great care and effort goes into presenting it to our shoppers.”
On top of the traditional kolam, this year’s décor includes a gigantic peacock and an Instagram-worthy floral kolam on the mall’s iconic steps.
“While it has been challenging to adhere and fully comply with the SOPs and limitations of the CMCO, nevertheless, we are very mindful of them in our planning,” Kung said.
“Despite the challenges, Pavilion KL is still at the heart of the consumers and we look forward to welcoming back the shoppers with more excitement when the CMCO is lifted.”
Here’s a roundup of Deepavali decorations at various shopping malls in Malaysia.
Fahrenheit88’s colourful spray paint kolam. — Picture courtesy of Fahrenheit88
Themed ‘Bling Bling Deepavali’, Fahrenheit88’s decorations include nine intricately designed kolams, designed by artist Vivian Ng who used a spray-painting technique for her creations.
SOURCE: MALAY MAIL, MALAYSIA Tue, Nov 12, 2020