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Beautiful, festive art of Rangoli

By Verdel Bishop

Form Four and Form Three pupils of Belmont Secondary School revived the ancient art form of Rangoli as part of their 2014 Indian Arrival Day school project.  A colourful display of various designs on paper and on the ground was the highlight at the school’s activities on May 29. 

Form Four English Literature teacher K Ganness said the project captivated the imagination of the pupils who worked diligently to produce the final outcome. Gannes said not only were the children exposed to the artistic expressions of Rangoli but they also learned about the history and of the art form which originated in India.  

“The students had fun and they were willing to learn. They learnt patience, teamwork and co-operation. Various departments helped, including maths, social studies, art and English departments, which came together and we worked as a team. They opened their minds to learn an ancient East Indian art form. We did our research and then they were left to be creative.  The outcome was great. I am pleased with what they have accomplished. They worked hard on the project and I am proud of them,” Ganness said. 

Rangoli, Ganness said, is used to celebrate events. It brings a positive energy when done in a space. It is believed that when a Rangoli design is done it blesses the place and removes all the bad energy from it. It involves using chalk, paint and rice.  

“Rangoli is an ancient art that originated in India. It used to celebrate events. It brings positive energy when done in a space. It involves using design patterns in harmony, balance and symmetry. A pattern is drawn in chalk on the ground and is filled in using coloured rice, chalk or water-soluble paint. Their colourful designs bring joy to occasions and it is believed to remove negative energy from the place where a design is created.”

Ganness also explained the rules surrounding Rangoli. “A woman who is menstruating at the time cannot do Rangoli designs, neither can a person who has a close friend or relative who recently passed away. No black is used or dark colours; it is a happy, festive art,” Ganness said.

The pupils were also thankful to art teacher D Aboud for her guidance in the project.

 
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