Rangoli means a design made using loose colored powder. Every early morning, women will sweep their homes, front porches, their yards, and then make rangoli at the front steps to welcome a new day. By mid-day it will be gone – swept away by the wind, coming and going of people. This used to be daily routine of the lady of the house; due to urbanization, this art is disappearing from the daily lives of people – now it is only seen during cultural festivals, particularly Diwali. In the old days, rangoli was made using rice, flour, or kitchen spices mixed with limestone powder, gypsum power, or color pigments. Today Rangoli powders come in pre-manufactured packets in a kaleidoscopic of colors.
I have had the honor of receiving fellowship grant, numerous times from the state of Alabama to teach Rangoli to children of Indian descent, in the hopes of carrying on the tradition. Alabama Public Television (APT) featured my work on Rangoli in their show “Alabama Journey Proud”.