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Monday, October 08, 2007

Decorating the front yard

Yesterday as I was driving to the airport to come to New Delhi, I stopped for breakfast at a roadside restaurant and I saw this lady drawing in the front yard of the restaurant. I thought to put this up on our blog to let you know some of the traditions of our country. So I sought her permission before I took the photo. To those of you who are of non-Indian origin, may not know what this means, in Tamil it is called “Kolum” or in Telugu it is called as “Muggu”.

Very early in the morning or late in the evening, lady of the house (or a servant maid) cleanse the front yard by sweeping, and sprinkles water to settle the dust and then they draw kolum with their hand. I really do not know the meaning of Kolum but I am guessing it is a sign of joy and to leting others know that they are welcome to their house.

Powder that is commonly used is soda powder. Mostly white color is used but lately I have been seeing people using colors and instruments to make more complex drawings like figures of animals, or fine printing. Some also use flower petals to decorate the Kolum once the drawing is completed. Kolum varies in sizes and I have seen them as big as one’s courtyard.

Most of the people are very respectful of Kolum when they come to the house and try not to step on it.

Ruby Nakka

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