All 68 competitors received a medal.
All 68 competitors received a medal.
All 68 competitors received a medal.

PICTURES: Hundreds of people enjoy music, singing, dancing and powerful ancient art at Rugby exhibition

As good luck the 300 visitors from over eight ethnicities were welcomed with the offer to place a coin in a bowl of dried rice

Music, singing, dancing and powerful ancient art lit up Rugby’s Benn Hall with sound and colour at the weekend.

To celebrate the harvest festival as is done in the Southern part of the Indian sub-continent, competitors from diverse backgrounds took part in a unique Kolam celebration and art competition on Sunday.

It took three hours for both categories of teams to produce stunning displays that reflected food sustainability and harvest celebrations. Alongside the vibrant symmetrical Kolam patterns drawn from coloured rice flour, were slogans that conveyed simple messages to

respect farmers and of the need to make food sustainability while respecting the earth.

Led by renowned Leamington artist - Chandna Batra and Kolam artist Florence Michael, other judges included the Locke House volunteers from Rugby - who were the fuel behind the Locke House COVID-19 vaccination programme which delivered over 170,000


Organiser Gita Natarajan, said: “The women practise imagination and creativity from the early morning washing their front yards. They take rice flour, their staple diet, to draw patterns which they fill with coloured rice. Every home has wonderfully varied patterns displaying their varied skills endorsed by the local belief that those who practice the art are blessed by divine inspiration.

“Rice flour is needed to offer to the creatures on the ground outside as a way of saying we are friends of nature. They wash away the rice as it is transient, you wash it away today and start again tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day when they are at one with nature and talk of their displays and demonstrate their art work.”

Gita and the judges lit lamps to bring illumination to the occasion and to welcome and bless the guests to the event.

“All of the art is symmetrical, and all are winners,” Gita added.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey distributed the prizes, congratulated the artists and thanked Thaai Tamil Sangam for organising an event that brought communities together.

Kolam winners

1st prize: Team Frangipani represented by Kameshwari Sonti, Chandna Arra and Arathi Sreekumar

Art winners

1st prize: Team Raja Ravi Varma - represented by mother-daughter team – Aishwarya Magesha and Nikitha Magesh.

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