Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Walkabout ~ Brickfields

Last Saturday (24July10), I had participated in the Nikon Centre Kuala Lumpur’s (NCKL) Walkabout. Its an outing where you can learn the skills of outdoor/street photography. It was held in Brickfields and led by Mr Alex of NCKL. I had pickup some knowledge from the activity and happy to meet new friends.. even from outstation and foreigners as well. We gathered in front of the well-known YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) building, a century old. YMCA is an integral landmark in Brickfields.

A bit about Brickfields…

Brickfields was initially developed by Yap Kwan Seng, the 5th and last Kapitan Cina (Chinese Chief) of Kuala Lumpur. A businessman, he forecasted an increase for demand on clay bricks in the fast-growing Kuala Lumpur. And had established a kiln in a district which was named Brickfields. The area soon became the centre for brick-making in the early days because the whole area was a clay pit and good quality bricks are made from clay. Therefore Brickfields became synonymous with good quality bricks.

Brickfields is a small to medium-sized town and residential neighbourhood (as well as an administrative zone) located just outside central Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s also known as KL's Little India due to the high percentage of Indian residents and businesses. Before independence, the British authority had brought in workers from India to work in Malayan Railway, later ...Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM). Many stayed in quarters around Brickfields and had opted to stay permanent and became citizens of Malaysia.

Brickfields is one of the pioneer settlements in Kuala Lumpur. Indeed, Jalan Tun Sambanthan (formerly Jalan Brickfields) is interspersed with old colonial structures. People around this area especially at the market were sporting. They don't mind when we started shooting on them and their trade items. Some had happily posed for us.  

The Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) is synonym to Brickflieds. Its norm to see these special individuals around Brickfields. Most pedestrian walk in Brickfields, in fact in KL, is equipped with tactile guided pathways, designed to aid the blind while walking. You can also see many reflexology/massage outlets opened and operated by the blinds here.

The Temple of Fine Arts is located along Jalan Berhala. It is a cultural organisation offering various courses relating to mainly Southern Indian music, dance, and arts. Founded in 1981 with centres in Johor Bahru, Melaka, well as centres around the world incl. India, Australia and Singapore. Besides offering cultural courses, the organisation frequently organises Indian performances around Kuala Lumpur and has produced many artists progressing to international standards.

The once Surau (small mosque) located on Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad called Madrasatul Gouthiyyah has now been upgraded into a beautiful mosque and would be used mostly by the Indian-Muslim community, where sermons are sometimes conducted in Tamil.

Some of other images captured....

 ...sharing of knowledge and outcome

For the Indians, Brickfields is also their "Divine Location" as religious structures, some over 100 years old, are concentrated in the area. The aptly-named Berhala Road (Berhala means shrine) houses the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple and other Hindu temples.. a testament to the influence of Sri Lankan/Ceylonese in Brickfields.

 ...our Sifu sharing his knowledge

...its tiring but fun!