GEORGE TOWN: From sarees to spices, Little India here is big on preparations for Deepavali.

This is despite the festival being a month away on Oct 24.

The atmosphere is vibrant at places such as Market Street, Queen Street, and Penang Street, where shoppers, some from out-of-state, are busy looking for their must-haves.

“I believe things will improve further with the arrival of our latest collection of sarees, churidhar suits and men’s wear, which were handpicked for the Deepavali festival,” said Datuk Asok Kumar G. Poduval, who runs a textile shop in Market Street.

Asok said he had customers coming from Johor and Kuala Lumpur looking for cotton and silk sarees, as well as ready-made garments.

“Most of our goods are handpicked from all over India,” he said.

Asok, 64, said his business had seen an improvement after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are slowly getting our customers back,” he added.

One of the shoppers in Little India was businessman S. Muthu, 47.

He was seen at his favourite textile shop.

“My family and I have been regular shoppers here for the past 10 years.

“Every year, we will not miss shopping here in our preparation for Deepavali and other occasions too,” he said.

As for purchasing manager T. Malar, she was also seen at the same shop, looking for the latest designs and the best fabric.

“They bring in the latest trends from India,” said Malar, 49.

Over at Syarikat Abdul Ghaffar Trading Sdn Bhd, owner Abdul Malick M. Abd Gaffar, 67, and his son Mohamaed Azlan Abdul Malick, 32, were busy packing spices and other retail products for customers.

“Business is picking up slowly and things have gradually improved.

“I hope this will continue,” he added.

Abdul Malick said his shop had spices from all over the world.

“They are sold and distributed to wholesalers, small grocery stores, restaurants, grinding mills, and end consumers.

“Besides spices, we also import dates from Middle Eastern countries,” he said, adding that he inherited the family business.