Children

Hues and shades

A stroke here, a circle there, fill in the empty spaces and add some colour to the festival

Photo: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Photo: K_MURALI_KUMAR  

With Deepavali right at our doorstep, how about adding some colour to usher it in? A big part of Deepavali, apart from the yummy sweet treats and food, new outfits and sparklers, are the rangoli’s you can find adorned at the entry ways of many homes.

The most important feature of a rangoli is that it is colourful, in fact the word ‘rangoli’ comes from Sanskrit which means ‘colour’. What is a rangoli though? It is an art form in which colourful patterns are created on the floor using materials such as coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flower petals. Sometimes, diyas are added to the design to give the rangoli an extra bright element to it. Rangolis are often for decoration purposes but they are also believed to bring good luck. The designs vary as they reflect traditions and folklore that are unique to each area. It is often used during many occasions such as auspicious events, marriages, and festivals such as Onam, Pongal, Deepavali and so on.

Hues and shades
Photo: M.A.SRIRAM

Photo: M.A.SRIRAM  

In different parts of the country, rangolis are known by different names, kolam in Tamil Nadu, mandana in Rajasthan, pookalam in Kerala, muggu in Andhra Pradesh, saathiya/gahuli in Gujurat, chowkpurana in Chhattisgarh and so on. In some cultures, they are drawn on the floor or ground, in others they are drawn on the walls or the doors of the homes to stop any evil forces from entering.

Hues and shades
Photo: Biswaranjan Rout

Photo: Biswaranjan Rout   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The shape, design and material of a rangoli can be influenced by the region and its traditions. A square grid is common in North India as is a hexagonal grid in South India, Onam rangolis on the other hand are typically circular. The designs could be really simple or complex geometric shapes, impressions of gods and goddesses, or flower and petal shapes — all depending on the occasion. Rangoli competitions are quite popular these days and in many cases are used as an oppurtunity to raise awareness for many issues such as climate change, voting and so on.

Photo: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Photo: K_MURALI_KUMAR  

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:39:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/hues-and-shades/article29767472.ece

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