- Kuwait Times Extra
Traditionally, Indian floral decoration on the floor follows its own set of rules. Now that medicines and other flowers that were used to make the floral decoration are restricted to some soap-making factories, people have replaced flowers with, not plastic, thankfully, but boiled rice, coconut scrapings, saffron and salt that are colored in style. The floral carpet, as the decoration is also known, takes several steps to bloom. From adding food color when the rice is half-boiled to preparing plywood or wooden platforms for the floral decoration, the process takes several days or weeks. When the platform is ready, a hand-drawn model of the design is prepared and pasted on the platform with colors and lines thickly marked. Then the colored ingredients are laid by using a cone, stating from the nucleus of the circle.
Four to 6 people can complete the decoration simultaneously by filling the colored shades on the paper. Once the picture on the paper is filled with the colored powder, the paper cannot be seen. Surprisingly, not all floral decorations are designed by artists. The flower circle is meticulously prepared by people who grow as hardworking artists. From shopping to coloring and designing, it takes lots of common sense than art IQ for a circle to be completed. Several expat organizations conduct floral decoration competition for their members who would start coloring and drying the ‘floral’ content days ahead of the competition. The competitions are usually held in schools and the colorrich, hard-worked floral decorations are thrown into trash either to vacate the place for the next organization or for the school to prepare for the next working day.
By that time, judgment on the winning decoration would have been made just as photos for Facebook would have been saved. Up until a few years ago, Keralites back home would make floral decorations either inside the house or on the front-yard in a span of 10 days. On the first day, a medicinal plant-flower is placed on a platform made of burnt bricks smeared with a paste of cow dung. The spike of the basil plant is put on the second day followed by hibiscus, herbal and other medicinal plant-flowers to bung up the whole circle of flowers. The floral decoration should be attractive for the children, meaningful for adults, traditional in taste for the elderly, – and photogenic for the media (The photos on this page are sent by Anwar Sadath Thalassery). Its shape may have changed over the years but not necessarily the form.
By Sunil Cherian, Staff Writer
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