On my recent visit to Kuala Lumpur, I saw some shops display colorful decorations at their entrance hall. I was taken around by my Malaysian friend Izan at the KL Sentral and one by one that I saw these colorful designs.
hese designs are called rangoli. It is also called alpana. It is a decorative folk art of India. These designs are traditionally made on floors of the living rooms and courtyard of homes of Indians which signify the sacred welcoming for the Hindu dieties. This is not only for decoration but it is believed to bring good luck. It is a symbol of religious and cultural beliefs. It is an important part of the spiritual process. Its basic color is white and it is dyed with different colors to create attractive and wonderful multi-colored designs.
This is traditionally done by women. I also saw simple decorations in Trichy in North India where it is hand-drawn by chalk at the doorsteps of the business establishments. They can wash it off with water to change and make another design. They make designs out of their traditions, folklore and practices and it varies from one place to another. This is also observed during festivals, marriages, and milestone events.