30 May, 2019
If you have lived in India, you surely must have seen one by now for sure – Rangoli, the intricate, beautifully woven designs in front of the door or the house. In the South, it is also known as Kolam, and across India, it is called by a few different names like Alpana, Aripan, Muggu, Jhoti, Madana, etc. People use different materials to get this done like rice powder, colorful Rangoli powder, chalk or chalk powder, flowers, etc. Rangoli is an ancient Indian art, in which the doorway or entrance is adorned using beautiful designs to make it more attractive and appealing.
However, there is significance to this; the belief is that it is auspicious and brings good luck into the house and keeps the evil away. While many households religiously put a Rangoli every day, few at least do it for the festivals. There are also sticker Rangolis available in the market nowadays, that's suitable for modern flooring. In earlier days, Rangolis were put on the mud or cow dung smeared courtyards outside the house. The best part is that this tradition transcends all religions, caste, creed, etc., and is followed by many households. Also, it is much more than an art; it teaches a lot of values and is also said to be therapeutic as well as an educational tool.
Why is it an engaging form of art?
While there are many Rangoli designs available either through your family links or on the Net, Rangoli is a free hand art. Use whatever material suits you, and whatever design comes to mind. Just let go freely, with an open mind and express yourself. You will find that it is an extremely relaxing thing to do, and also you will feel proud of what you have achieved.
Traditionally, there are many symbols used in Rangoli like geometric lines, curves, circles, squares, triangles, etc. Apart from this, symbols like flowers, conches, swastikas, sun, moon, etc. are also seen a few designs. While in everyday use, mostly the white color simple Rangoli designs are used, the colorful, more decorative and intricate ones are seen on special occasions. There are even Rangoli competitions held in many parts of the country. There are of course some scientific explanations of certain elements used in Rangoli. Also, in few Rangolis, dots are put first, and then these are joined to create the designs.
Skills and benefits
Apart from being used as a relaxation technique, Rangolis can help build a few skills in you. Notably, this can be done along with children or grandchildren. This will build curiosity about the art, the tradition, and the culture, and also bring an understanding of the diversity of our culture.
Besides, since Rangoli is drawn free hand, it also improves your motor and coordination skills, dexterity of using fingers, your creativity and imagination, and even quick-thinking skills to improvise. It also stimulates your neurons and strengthens the nerves. This may be difficult to believe, but as you well know, the Rangoli patterns are drawn using the index finger and thumb together while making out the design with the material. This is a mudra that provides stimulation to the brain cells and critical nerves.
Rangoli also teaches you problem-solving, to bring about new designs or solve the complicated ones. Also, when you bring them to life with colors or flowers, you will bring in maximum creativity, through proper planning and resourcefulness to visualize the right color combinations.
Without a doubt, it also teaches you patience and perseverance; there is no easy way to get a design done. And when you work on the more intricate designs, you need to count the dots, analyze the sequences, and learn to understand the geometric shapes right. What is more, there is also a 3D effect to many Rangolis, so you also get to learn about spatial shapes. All these are apart from the fact that they are a great stress-busting exercise, and of course, the sight of it through the day keeps you happy as well.
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