This Deepavali, as usual, colours mark this joyous Hindu festival. What I saw in the shopping malls were lots of splashes of colour - especially on the FLOOR !It's the KOLAM I'm referring to.
It's a riot of colours bursting with artistry to signal the celebration of Deepavali, known as the Festival of Lights. Having visited Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad before, I'm familiar with the rich colours of India. Right here in Malaysia, our Indian communities too celebrate Deepavali with much fervour.
Back to the KOLAM. The shopping malls have done an outstanding job of bringing colour,and with it the Indian culture to the fore. They seem to get better and better each year.
Do check out the LimKokWing website for their latest initiative with Pavilion for this festive season. What pomp and ceremony! I read in the media that one of the colleges made a fruity kolam . Absolutely unique!
What I saw at the Pavilion is astounding. 200 international students of the LimKokWing School of Creative Technology - from over 140 countries and 10 embassies worked tirelessly to produce the 1st Crytstallized 3 D kolams. Huge as they come, the raw materials used were 1 thousand kg of rice grains, and tens of thousands of Swarovski crystal elements and 30 packets of colouring to produce the brilliant, multicolour motifs. It was a lovely experience to follow the kolam motifs down the Spanish steps right down to the Centre Court of the Pavilion shopping mall. How the magnificent KOLAMS enhance the Deepavali mood ! Besides the razzle and dazzle, the kolams maintain the tradition that still lives.
Photo credit : Display Board at Centre Court , courtesy of Pavilion PR - 4 pics above
KOLAMs are ancient Dravidian geometric motifs that grace the entrances of Hindu homes,to invoke the blessings of the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi and to keep evil spirits away. Traditionaly they are curved loops hand drawn around a grid pattern of dots. Also, traditional ingredients like tumeric for yellow, ground brown coffee beans for brown etc make the kolam Nowadays, the commercial powder colours are mixed with rice flour and sandstone for the different hues. Typical motifs are flowers, animals and geometric designs.
To start off,the womenfolk sweep and wash the floor. Then rice powder is placed on the floor for the sandstone to stick better.
I made a kolam sometime ago just for the entrance to my front door. It took more than nifty work to get the pattern out! Have to confess, I even made do with the plastic stick ons and placed the oil lamps on them last year when I had an open house celebration.
Well, like all Deepavalis, I will be colourful, in my new salwar khameez and greet this festival with open arms. Here's wishing all Hindu readers,' Happy Deepavali'! May the lights of this festive season shine on you!