Friday January 11, 2013
Clay pots in limited supply
By LOSHANA K SHAGAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Grocery stores in Little India, Brickfields, have begun stocking up on necessary items in conjunction with the Ponggal celebration on Monday.
Among the items sought after by the Indian community are colourful clay pots, many of which were already on display.
New Malliga store staff G. Ram advised customers to go early and get the pots as there were fewer pots available this year.
“Our supplier warned us that they could not keep up with the increasing demand, while we have more competition with other retailers to get the pots,” he said in an interview here yesterday.
Ram said the store could only get 500 pots for this year’s Ponggal compared with 1,000 pots last year.
“A temple committee member had approached us to buy 100 pots for their celebrations, but we had to turn them down as we had to focus on our regular customers,” he added.
A check on other stores in the area also showed that fewer pots were on display this time around.
However, Ram was confident that the stock was sufficient to cater to everyone.
The pots at the stores come in many colours and are adorned with Indian-themed artwork around the rims.
College students S. Lalitah, J. Kristina and Loginy Baloo who were met at the area said they decided to buy peach-coloured pots.
“We normally celebrate with our own families. But we plan to create our own dishes this time,” Lalitah said.
They also bought rice and other condiments like jaggery, cashew nuts, raisins, fresh milk and spices to make the dish.
Ponggal, which literally means boiling over, is a harvest festival to give thanks to the Sun God for a bountiful harvest.
On this day, families gather to cook sweetened rice in a clay pot on a structure made of sugarcane.
As the dish is cooked, the milk will be allowed to boil over to signify happiness and prosperity for the entire family.
Sugarcane stalks and other fresh fruit required for the festival are expected to be available by today.