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Monday, October 24, 2011

Flower Street at Little India Klang - Part 1 Jasmine


On this October 26th 2011, the Hindu community of Malaysia will be celebrating Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, signifying the triumph of good over evil.

In Klang city where I stay, the Tengku Kelana Street, nicknamed "Little India" is all abuzz with activities. There are many stores selling lots of colourful items such as clothes, provisions, foodstuff, decorations, bling-bling, you name it-they have it.

The above is the Flower Street of Little India Klang. It is opened for business everyday.

“Flower Street at Little India Klang - Part 1”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on October 24th, 2011.




Jasminum sambac - native plant of India

The most popular flower during Deepavali season is the strongly scented Jasminum sambac (Arabian Jasmine). I have 2 varieties of Jasminum sambac in my garden; Maid of Orleans (above) and also the rose-like Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Many of us in Asia will have pleasant childhood memories of helping our mom and/or grandma pluck jasmine flowers for home use. The scent of jasmine is embedded in our cosmetics, toilettries, food and drinks. We name our daughters Jasmine or Yasmine and we also sing folk songs praising the beauty of jasmines. "Sampaguita" is the national flower of the Philippines and "Melati Putih" is one of the 3 national flowers of Indonesia.

Do you remember the scent of jasmine
(a) on your mother's hair?
(b) on the perfume a loved one wears?
(c) on the first night of matrimony or any special occassion or celebration?


Jasmine flowers are hand-picked in the early morning just before dew starts to form. The flower buds should be white, not green. These buds will exude the most fragrance. The buds can be packed in plastic bags and kept in the fridge until needed.



Pre-soaked jute strings are used to tie up the flower buds and made into flower garlands for honoured guests, as hair adornments, also for deities and the altar. The fragrance is strong enough to scent the whole room.


Jasmine flower buds are hand-strung into garlands, a skill passed down from one generation to the next. Flower ladies are called "pookari" in Tamil.


If flower ladies are called "pookari", what do you call a flower gentleman?

*Updated: Thank you very much for Vaish Vijay's comment:
'Pookaarar' is the term for men who make floral strings/garlands. Jasmin flower is very popular in my home town in Madurai, India. There down south, it is called as 'Madurai Malli' and the way they tie the flower itself is unique!



Roses, orchids and chrysanthemums are also used to make scented flower garlands.
The hanging green fruits on the left are citrus fruits called calamansi (calamondin) limes.
We can also buy loose flowers for floral baths.


Strung jasmines are sold by "arm-lengths". An arm-length is measured from the finger tips to the elbow. It costs about RM 1.00 per arm-length, sometimes more during the festive season.



Jasmine flowers are also used in Indian and Javanese wedding rituals and as prayer offerings by Hindus and Buddhists.

To all my Hindu friends, I'd like to dedicate this post to you and wish you
Happy Deepavali!




This is my entry for Our World Tuesday, formerly My World Tuesday founded by Klaus Peter, now hosted by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy. The link is here.

15 comments:

  1. So colourful and such a joy and pleasure to read.

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  2. I am smiling :) We have made many trips to little India - my US born daughter loves the fragrant jasmine garlands and atmosphere as much as I do. Of course, Thosai breakfast or banana leaf lunch afterwards is a plus too.

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  3. The street looks like a place in India with so many garlands hanging. In India too, Jasmine is a must in all weddings, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist.

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  4. Wanakum, yes few more days the Hindu community will be celebrating Diwali..let there be light. Bananaz only like to buy one arm easier to manage. Nandri.

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  5. Jasminum sambac is our 'sampaguita', i thought is in endemic here. It is our national flower. We also have those sampaguita garlands.

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  6. What beautiful images. Having spent time in the tropics, I could almost smell the photos. And jasmine...it is one of the truly great scents. Thanks.

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  7. I love the smell of Jasmine. I can not imagine the fragrance so prevalent during the festival. It would be like heaven.

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  8. Oh my goodness! I can just imagine the scent! And the displays are fantastic! Thanks for describing all the beauty for those of us who can't be there.

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  9. Chciałabym chociaż raz w życiu być ozdobiona takimi kwiatami. Pozdrawiam

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  10. Good capture, long time I've never been to Klang. 'Pookaarar' is the term for men who make floral strings/garlands.
    Jasmin flower is very popular in my home town in Madurai, India. There down south, it is called as 'Madurai Malli' and the way they tie the flower itself is unique!

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  11. Hmmm... I can smell the scent...

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  12. I have these in my little balcony garden. Beautiful pictures.

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  13. I could only imagine how it smells there. Fresh flowers like this makes me feel happy how much more the flowers exudes sweet smell. Love the colors too and I bet the food are delish.

    Barn Charm

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  14. hi there just want to ask about a particular type of jasmine which is jasminum grandiflorum aka royal jasmine. do you know any nurseries which sells this plant in selangor or johor

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry I have no idea at the moment but I would like to invite you to join My Nice Chat, a facebook group dedicated for gardeners and gardening. I'm sure some members may be able to help you out. The link is: http://www.facebook.com/groups/mynicegardenchat/

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