Students usher in Diwali with Rangoli

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Students from the Johanna Cecilia Secondary standing in front of their Rangoli

By Indrawattie Natram

FOR decades Rangoli making has been practised by Hindus, since it is considered auspicious in the Hindu Dharma during special occasions and religious ceremonies. Rangolis are believed to have spiritual perspective and benefits when made especially at the entrance of the home. It is also said to bring good luck to persons who participate in making them.

This year, students across Guyana participated in the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s Annual Rangoli Competition to usher in Diwali which will be celebrated on November 6. Several secondary schools across Guyana participated in the festive competition.

Secondary school students involved in the making of Rangoli

Children started making Rangoli from October 24, when the competition kicked off at Hope Secondary School before heading to Anna Regina Secondary. Other venues for the competition included Bath Primary School on November 1; Central Corentyne Secondary School, Tagore Secondary and Diamond Secondary School on November 2; Cumberland Primary School on November 15 and Berbice High School on November 16.

President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, Dr Vidhya Persaud, said that the festive competition gives children the opportunity to do research on the Hindu Festival of Diwali and to create patterns to demonstrate the occasion. Persaud said it was the Sabha’s way of encouraging the younger generation to appreciate the culture.

On the Essequibo Coast, creativities and talents were displayed when the Essequibo Praant hosted the competition at the Anna Regina Secondary School. Participating secondary schools included Abrams Zuil, 8th of May, Johanna Cecilia, Aurora, Cotton Field, Anna Regina Multilateral and Charity.

Children and a teacher from the Abram Zuil Secondary School posing with their Rangoli Design

Children were excited about the competition and beautiful well-designed patterns depicting the Hindu festival were displayed. The patterns were formed by coloured rice and children drew their designs with chalk then filled the patterns with different colours of rice.
President of the Essequibo Praant, Pandit Kaydar Persaud said Rangoli is popular during the festival and fosters togetherness amongst those participating. He said it is an art form which originated from India.

“The purpose of Rangoli is to decorate and it is believed that it brings good luck. Designs may vary and it is practised on special occasions such as marriages and Hindu holidays,” Pandit Persaud said.

He thanked all those children who participated in the competition and the interest shown by the various secondary schools. He also encouraged families to create their own Rangoli this year in their homes.