Thursday, July 5, 2007


Pretty much everywhere I went in Tamil Nadu, I’d see these abstract, symmetrical patterns in rice flour (called kolam in Tamil) on the floor near thresholds of one sort or another. In the picture below, Vidya, the sister of the bride Gayatri, created a new one in the stair well between her family’s apartment and the one Krishnan and I were staying in. (Ganapati, Gayatri and Vidya’s father, had rented a spare apartment for all the relatives coming in from out of town for the wedding.) A kolam doesn’t last very long, but they are a beautiful bit of folk art. They are called rangoli in North India.


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