Sustaining Tradition: Krishnan Pottery's Commitment to Pongal Celebrations
BY: Michelle Liew
As the vibrant Pongal festival approaches, the anticipation among the Indian community in the country is met with the familiar aroma of milk simmering in clay pots or belanga. For Krishnan Pottery, a heritage business that has been an integral part of this celebration for 65 years, the annual preparation of clay pots has become a cherished tradition. Entrepreneur K. Mahavisnoo, at the helm of this family legacy, shares insights into the meticulous process that goes into ensuring a seamless Pongal celebration.
Krishnan Pottery, founded by Mahavisnoo's ancestors, has been synonymous with quality clay pots that hold cultural significance for those celebrating Pongal. The family-owned business has played a crucial role in providing the community with the essential vessels needed for the traditional cooking of milk during this auspicious festival.
Yearly Rituals and Preparation
As Pongal draws near each year, Mahavisnoo and his dedicated team of 10 employees engage in a labor-intensive process to meet the demand for clay pots. Since May of the previous year, they have been diligently crafting approximately 45,000 clay pots, ensuring that each piece is made with precision and adheres to the high standards set by Krishnan Pottery.
Despite the success and longevity of Krishnan Pottery, Mahavisnoo, as the third-generation custodian of this tradition, faces challenges that threaten the future of the business. The scarcity of the primary resource, clay, poses a significant concern. The clay used in crafting these pots is sourced from Bestari Jaya, and Mahavisnoo recognizes the need to explore new avenues, including potential sources in Perak.
Mahavisnoo sheds light on the economic aspects of the business, indicating that the cost of raw materials, particularly clay, has increased. Previously, he could source clay from various locations, but the current dependence on Bestari Jaya has led to a vulnerability in the supply chain. As the available clay in Selangor is projected to last only another five to seven years, Mahavisnoo is actively exploring alternative sources, acknowledging the potential impact on production costs.
Future Plans and Cultural Tourism
Looking ahead, Mahavisnoo envisions diversifying the business by organizing special workshops. These workshops aim to attract tourists interested in experiencing the traditional art of clay pot making. By transforming Kuala Selangor into a cultural tourism hub, he aspires to showcase the rich heritage and craftsmanship of the Indian community, inviting visitors to witness and participate in the age-old tradition of creating clay pots.
Krishnan Pottery stands as a testament to the resilience of cultural traditions in the face of evolving challenges. As the business adapts to ensure the continuation of its legacy, Mahavisnoo's commitment to preserving the essence of Pongal through quality clay pots remains unwavering. In navigating the
complexities of sourcing raw materials and exploring new avenues for sustainability, Krishnan Pottery exemplifies the delicate balance between tradition and the demands of a changing world.