India is without doubt a country, which loves to celebrate; and households in India know
how to make something from scratch. It could be anything, food, the décor, the ambiance or even lights. Since people in India love colors and try to incorporate the same in each of their activities, let us then explore yet another activity, which is found in almost every household all over the sub-continent. For one, let us consider the art of designing your floors. Yes, Indians do design their floors with a lot of colors, lights, flowers and other materials and this particular one is called a ‘Rangoli.’
In fact, Kolam, Moggu, Madana, Chowka Purana and Alpana are all names for the Rangoli designed in different parts of India. Just like the diversity of language and culture, there is so much diversity in the way each state makes a Rangoli.
Actually, the whole process is rather flexible. For example, Alpana is the art of Rangoli making in Bengal. Rice is something, which is considered holy and is abundantly available. Yes, Bengalis design their Alpanas with rice, either powdered or in the form of a paste. Kolam in the Southern part of India employs the same method. Since most Rangolis are designed on the entrance of the house, it usually means to invite guests in style and of course, it is in a way considered as holy. Alpanas are however created to mostly welcome the Goddess Laxmi or the other deities to our house.
2. Use rice paste: If you are a beginner, follow the Bengali style of Rangoli. Since a rice paste is easier to tackle then powdery colors, you will have an easier time to design it.
3. Use materials, which are easily available: As mentioned earlier, the process of making a Rangoli is very flexible. You can use colors, flower petals, diyas or the traditional lamps and of course sand and candles.
4. Keep the design ready: Unless you are an expert, make sure to keep the blueprint of the design you have chosen right in front of you. It is best if there is one drawn on, paper or even better if there is a previous photo or something.
5. Keep it at sight and yet at bay: Since a lot goes into making a Rangoli, it is best if you choose a place which will not be treaded upon by visitors, kids or even family members much.
6. About Stains: If you are worried about stains, it is best if you use powdered colors, rice paste, or other dry materials instead of the traditional wet colors. The process with wet colors is of course a long one, full of trouble.
7. Keep it Simple: Do not choose a design, which is too complicated, and please work on the color combination.Use your creativity and make simple designs in the beginning. I will tell you from personal experience that many a good pattern can be destroyed by trying to make it too perfect and too colorful.
8. Handling Kids: The best way to handle kids while trying to make a good Rangoli is to involve them with you.
Q. What is the best material for Kids?
Since kids love color, make sure that you get plenty of dry powder based colors. Using rice paste will also do, make sure that you add colors to them as well.
Q. How bad are the colors for your hands?
There are several organic colors available in the market. You can always choose from them. On the other hand, even better, make sure that you make a pattern with flower petals or sand.
Q. How to choose a design for Kids?
Kids might be the most enthusiastic, but are also synonymous with a mess. Choose a geometric pattern or a simple flower.
Q. Can anything else be used?
Well, if rice paste is what you are using, a small piece of cloth can be used. It goes for wet colors and slurry mixes.
So go ahead, have some fun with colors or even scrap materials and design your patios, your doorsteps and other open parts of your home with a Rangoli. In addition, yes, it can be done anytime, without or without festivals.
Book – Rangoli Patterns