New Delhi: US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be welcomed on their inauguration day on 20 January, with the country’s largest kolam — a south Indian geometric art form. Biden and Harris will be sworn in as President and Vice President on this day.
Kolam is akin to a rangoli, and is traditionally made with rice flour. They are drawn by women to invite health and prosperity to their homes.
For the inauguration, hundreds of artists, citizens and students from across the country made kolam tiles, which will be set up outside the US Capitol to welcome Biden and Harris.
The kolam was designed to “to be accessible and inclusive to signify a sense of unity,” according to Shanthi Chandrasekar, the artist who curated the project, .
The project was presented at the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s welcome event Sunday.
The Inauguration Kolam
The ‘inauguration kolam’, as it’s called, will feature individual tiles made by thousands across the US, including the students of 10 public schools in Washington, and will be put together to form a larger kolam.
“This project provided an opportunity for our students to learn about another culture and the math skills needed for creation in the arts,” said D.C. Public Schools arts director Mary Lambert, in a statement.
“As well, an opportunity to express their identity through visual arts and to see that united with others from around the country,” she added.
All the coordination for the inauguration kolam was done online
“Many believe kolams symbolise positive energy and new beginnings,” said Chandrasekar.
“People of all ages from various communities collaborated from their homes to create tiles with eco-friendly materials. What started out as a local project spread way beyond our expectations.”
The kolam takes on a special significance given Harris’ South Indian descent.