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Kolam Are Not Just For Decorations, They Are Messages Engrained In The Circle Of Light

Kolam Are Not Just For Decorations, They Are Messages Engrained In The Circle Of Light

Gamuda land in collaboration with TRP is happy to invite everyone to a very festive Kolam art workshop happening at the Quayside Mall in Kota Kemuning this Deepavali weekend!

Akmal Hakim

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“If we don’t learn our culture, who else will bring it to the next generation?” asks Ruben Prakash.

Ruben is an artist who works to preserve the traditional Indian decorative art of Kolam and shares his passion with youths at the Pure Life Society—a home for underprivileged children where he grew up as an orphan—and teaches other members of the community about the arts.

Known by other names such as Rangoli, Muggu and Tharai Aalangaram, Kolams are works of art that are hand drawn on the floor using things like rice, flour, grains or sand, and often take on beautifully intricate and colourful patterns.

(Credit: TRP)

In most cultures across India and the world, Kolams are seen as symbols of prosperity and good fortune—You can even say that the art form places a literal mark on the ground to further commemorate special occasions and celebrations.

Some families make Kolams at the entrance of their houses every day using rice flour. But most of the time, these Kolams are only seen on special occasions like Ponggal, Deepavali and weddings. It is basically a welcoming gesture to guests. This is the reason why it is very colourful. Its vibrant colours are not just for decoration, it also attracts people to an event.

via Ruben Prakash.

They are symbols from the past that are passed down through the ages like a message engrained in the circle of light and link many of us to our cultural roots and heritage and is a big part of what makes our home Malaysia the vibrant, welcoming place that it is.

Read More: What Are Those Pretty Colourful Designs On The Floor During Deepavali?

Having spent around 20 years perfecting his craft, Ruben shares that his passion for making Kolams was sparked by his youth at the Pure Life Society.

(Credit: TRP)

“In this home, we were given a chance to participate in many activities like art, yoga, karate, and dance. I remember for art class, there was a teacher that came from India, who taught us how to make a basic Kolam,” Ruben told TRP, recounting his adolescence and how, throughout the years, he continued developing and gaining confidence in his skills thanks to the people close to him.

I started making Kolams when I was 15 years old. Our president of the home, Mother Mangalam, used to give us encouragement when it came to art. Now, I make around 300 to 500 Kolams in a year.

via Ruben Prakash

Now grown up, Ruben hopes to ignite a passion for the arts in others and expresses his intention of becoming a “Guru” in the traditional art of Kolam making.

(Credit: TRP)

He explains that it was important for everyone, especially youths, to remain rooted in our shared cultures and heritage, and to always look upon our traditions with respect.

Actually some people think this is just rice art and all that. They don’t see the point of it. But this art plays a part in our culture and tradition. And it is very important for us not to forget our culture. Modern things are good, but we must always remember our traditions. My goal is that I want to be a sort of Guru for the youths at my previous home.

via Ruben Prakash.

Today, Ruben tries to pass on what he’s learned to people of all shapes and sizes in order to keep the flames of the tradition bright and alive for future generations.

In a salute to Ruben, 3rd Wave Media (TRP’s very own parent company, just FYI…) recently presented the Pure Life Society with a humble donation amounting to RM5,000 to support the artistic Guru in his efforts to educate our youths and in keeping our traditions alight, as well as, give back to the community this festive Deepavali season.

(Credit: TRP)

And guess what?! To help everyone get in touch with our shared roots and cultural heritage, Gamuda land in collaboration with TRP is happy to invite everyone to a very festive Kolam art workshop happening at the Quayside Mall in Kota Kemuning this Deepavali weekend!

Come and Celebrate Deepavali’s Circle of Light with us this Saturday (October 22) from 12 pm to 3 pm to discover more about our shared culture and traditions by joining our FREE Kolam art workshop with friends and family.

You’ll get a chance to learn more about the ins and outs of the traditional art form and stand a chance to win vouchers, mystery gifts and more! Slots are LIMITED so do remember to come early and invite all of your loved ones.

REMEMBER!!! Free Kolam art workshop. 12 to 3. This Saturday. At Quayside Mall!

Watch the video below to learn more about Ruben and his inspiring journey to keep traditions alive through his artwork.


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