Friday, February 6, 2009

Kuching's Little India

Kuching is full of antiquity. Like today while shopping at downtown Kuching for textile and some spices I came across this signboard which indicated that the Indian Mosque here was built in 1834. The signboard reads 'Gambier Street' but now is changed to Gambier Road because of its development over time into a major shopping area for spices and textiles. The place was bustling today and you can get all the major spices of the world here. Historically 'gambier' was traded along this street and was a major revenue earner for Sarawak since the early 19th century. Gambier is a shrub grown widely in Sarawak from which is extracted a substance used for dyeing and tanning of leather.

The Indian Mosque is actually situated between the Gambier Road and India Street. Today is Friday and therefore I decided to perform my Friday prayers here by taking a short break from my shopping schedule. The picture above is the entrance hallway from Gambier Road. It's still early and the Main Prayer Hall in the center is still not yet fully occupied. By prayer time I noticed all available spaces inside the mosque were taken up. Well, you can say today it's full house.

This is the entrance to the mosque from India Street. I saw two blind men being led into the lane in time for the Friday prayers and sermon. Besides the Indians the Muslim faith is also practised by other races of Sarawak especially among the Malays and Melanaus.

Spices a plenty and from all over the world!
Above, a young Indian spice merchant talks happily over his mobile while waiting for customers.

1 comment:

Protege said...

The picture of the spices is incredible; I bet there would be spices there that I would have not even know existed.;))