KL Masjids

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Saturday, May 24, 2003

Today started with a visit to Masjid Jamek, which is fairly close to where I am staying. The layout is similar to ones I have seen in southern Spain, i.e. very open plan and with a large courtyard. Next it was onto Masjid Negara which is the national masjid for Malaysia. The walk there took me past a rather strange looking fountain fashioned to look like a huge pitcher plant. It's sheer size reminded me of a Triffid.

Masjid Negara is huge, and they are still building new structures onto the side. The main dome is unusual in that it's covered with an eighteen pointed star. Apparently this symbolises the 13 states of Malaysia and the 5 pillars of Islam.

Further up the road is the Islamic Arts Museum, which houses some of the most beautiful ceiling domes I have seen. This museum has lots of Islamic art represented from architecture to textiles, furniture to calligraphy; and it's easy to loose track of time while wondering around the exhibits. I actually got locked in and had to walk back to the museum restaurant and ask the cleaner to call security for me. Does this ring any bells Joey?

Walking back past Merdeka square I noticed that the road was blocked and wondered over to have a closer look. It was the final preparations and dress rehearsal for the CitraWarna Malaysia parade tomorrow evening. I walked up to the barrier and before I had a chance to ask if I could go in to take a quick look the guard opened the gate and motioned me in. I then noticed that all the other people being let in were media reporters and camera men. Before I knew what was going on I was standing in front of the press box right next to where the King of Malaysia would be sitting tomorrow evening.

Needless to say the next three hours I had a ringside seat to this spectacular event - the music and dancing was full of colour and energy. Apart from having to restart an act or two there was no way of telling that this was a dress rehearsal, every performance was so vibrant and enthusiastic.
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