India in pictures
Flower Rangoli11:12 AM
In today's India in pictures, I give you the flower Rangoli I made for Diwali. Rangoli are temporary designs created in front of the door, or gate of a house for festivals, or in some communities daily. In Europe people usually call them all Mandala, because it reminds people of Tibetan artwork of the same name. They can be made with several mediums. the one above is made exclusively with flowers and leaves, and in Kerala they are done for Onam, and are called Pookkalam instead of Rangoli.
More commonly, they are made of white and coloured chalk powder, and in South India are drawn daily in front of people's house. They go by the name of Kolam in the South, and having lived in Bangalore for years, I watched my neighbours religiously wash the area in front of their gate every morning, and then proceed to draw a fresh design on the still damp concrete using loose chalk powder they could pour expertly with their hands into an often intricate design.
In North India, Rangoli, as they are called, are drawn for Diwali and ornamented further with diyas. In the recent years, it is not uncommon to find rangoli stencils for sale around that time of the year, so that even the rangoli making challenged people can end up with a perfectly traditional and symmetrical design to ornate their entrance door or hall. For the even lazier, there are readymade already painted stickers you just paste to the tile. And of course there are rhinestones kit, glitter rangoli...everything goes when it comes to Diwali ones.
I started doing Rangoli at my in-laws place the first time I celebrated there, and it has now become "that thing I do". My in-laws know that when We go to Lucknow to celebrate, I will make one. This year, I made my biggest yet, and all with flower. And because the old diya stand we bought 7 years ago broke, we bought a new one this year.