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Maple Ridge school showcases ancient art of rangoli for Diwali

Art works placed outside of Fairview Elementary to welcome guests

Students at an elementary school in Maple Ridge learned more about the ancient Indian art form of rangoli in celebration of Diwali.

English Language Learners, (ELL), at Fairview Elementary made their intricate, geometrical designs using brightly coloured powder on paper plates.

Sikh students from Grades 1 to 7 wore traditional clothes and worked in pairs on the designs last Tuesday, Nov. 14.

According to Google Arts and Culture, rangoli, which comes from the Sanskrit word Rangavalli, means rows of colours.

“Rangoli is a traditional art form from India that started thousands of years ago, and it has spiritual and historical significance for Sikhs, Hindus and Jains,” explained ELL teacher Harjit Chauhan.

“The art is made by hand in bright colors to appreciate nature and the earth. It is made out of natural items from the earth such as: dried flowers and leaves. Rangoli can also be made from colored powder, flour, rice, chalk, and lentils,” added Chauhan, noting that traditional designs represent the symmetry found in nature, flowers, and petals. And, she said, people can be as creative as they want by adding designs of animals, symbols, the moon, stars, and even people.

Chauhan said the students talked about different designs and colour combinations they thought would work well together.

“It was a great way for students to create collaborative work,” shared the teacher.

The rangoli artwork was placed near the entrance to the school to welcome guests, in addition to bringing joy and good luck.

When the festive celebration is over, continued Chauhan, the rangoli is placed back into nature or some materials, like coloured rice, can be saved to use again the following year.

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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