A KOLAM competition brought a splash of Indian colour to Rugby.
Kolam is a form of art which originated in south India and the designs are thought to bring fortune to families throughout the day. Coloured rice powder is used to create geometric designs of curved loops, lines and dots.
Competitors from Rugby had three hours to come up with a design which would impress the judges, who included town MP Mark Pawsey.
Twelve teams comprising 32 participants competed against each other.
Their task was to create a pattern from scratch in three hours on a 4ftx4ft space allocated to them. They were provided with plain rice flour in white and the four primary colours of red, green, yellow and blue. No rulers, stencils, aids or props were allowed, nor were they allowed to use props to embellish their designs.
The competition was arranged by Thaai Tamizh Sangam, a voluntary organisation which spreads awareness of the Tamil culture in Rugby.
The event held at the Benn Partnership Centre was won by the Hibiscus Team represented by Shilpa Kuruva and Sravani Kongara, with second awarded to Leela Morampudi and Sowjanya Aluru of the Jasmine Team and third to the Indian Tulip Team, represented by Elizabeth Suresh, Kala Prasanna and Haripriya Kulasekar.
Gita Natarajan from the Benn Partnership Centre said: “The colourful event generated positive vibes and was a celebration of community cohesion like none other.
“The skills and the passions of the competitors was appreciated by all. It brought an ancient art alive and children and young people caught a glimpse of the ancient culture.
“It’s really important to give people the opportunity to practice this art and to continue to preserve these traditions for future generations. I’m really pleased that so many people took part in this competition and I hope that some people will be inspired to do their own Kolam art in future.”
Mr Pawsey said:“I have always been very proud of the diverse community I represent as the town’s MP and it is always a pleasure to be able to join residents to celebrate their heritage. I was amazed by the skill and effort which went into the pieces of Kolam art and picking a winner was incredibly challenging.
“The Benn Partnership Centre does a tremendous amount in order to work with groups throughout the community, such as Thaai Tamizh Sangam. This Kolam art competition was just one of many events they have supported and I am very pleased to be able to join them and the groups they work with throughout the constituency. I know that their help is greatly appreciated by everyone who comes to speak to them.”
The competition was part of TTS’ Rugby Tamil Fest project, which aims to spread awareness of the Tamil culture through free activities such as cooking demonstrations and art and dance classes over the forthcoming year – thanks to a £10,000 National Lottery grant.