Padma Srinath – Floor Art

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EXPERTEASE : a casual chat with profound
mind-eye opening AHA! moments

——- Mrs. Padma Srinath, Early Childhood Educator, unravels the myths and mysteries of rangoli, an ancient Indian floor art.

Padma Srinath
Curriculum, Training & Development

Padma Srinath has been in the Early Childhood field for well over 4 decades. She believes strongly in following the children’s developmental needs to frame a curriculum which has more of talking rather than chalking. She has been associated with the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan and the London Montessori teacher development programs. She has been associated with Vidya Mandir, Olcott Memorial School, and American International School, in their Early Childhood division. She’s is an accredited workshop facilitator for the Oxford University Press. She believes that the foundation of how to learn is accommodated in the first 7 years of life and hence the environment is a critical factor in consideration.

What do ancient art and culture of patterns –KOLAMS- signify?

A comprehensive approach to connect the microcosm and the macrocosm. Art is an expression of the depths of the multifarious dimensions of our lives. Yet it needs a platform– a visibility that is provided by culture.

Hear it from our expert………….. KOLAMS INTRO And Origin.

Is this culture unique to India or South India, Tamil Nadu?
No, it is not. We have this across the country, with different names though. I think ancient cultures have artistic drawings that had a deep inner connection. Look at this with the idea of morphic-resonance and a whole dimension opens up.

resonance is a mystical telepathic connection that travels through the morphic field, with no geographical boundaries as Rupert Sheldrake had propounded. I would think this accounts for the intuition that we experience.

Hear it from our expert…………..
Origin Happy state and Therapeutic

What aspects of physical emotional and mental states are impacted by or influenced by kolam creation and expression? Are there known health benefits?

As far as mental states are concerned there is a whole lot of mental application that precedes the effort as well as distinct benefits for posture and flexibility, perfect bending, and left and right side shifting movements.

Posture is a critical factor, as aging tends to show us what postural/ flexibility negligence can do to our movements. Courtesy: Dr Krishna Raman, Chennai.

Hear it from our expert…………
Emotions and Yoga

Is kolam creation an art, science or mechanical form of imitation of copied patterns?
Art certainly yes, mechanical may be to an extent, science YES when you apply it to the benefits accrued to our neural health.

Sticker kolams? Stencils? in fast pace format of life?
There is such an extensive “philosophy of lifestyle” that is associated with kolams, that reducing it to a sticker is being merely ritualistic. Stencils have a utility when enormous spaces have to be filled as at wedding halls and the like, and man power/time is limited.

Hear it from our expert…………
Transient and Stencils.

Kolams and the child – When, why and how should kolam patterns be introduced to children? How do children benefit by this practice or culture?

Developmentally, fine muscle development is critical in the early years—right from sucking right-to releasing his fist when the baby has gripped tight to his own lock of hair, to self-feeding to accomplish autonomy, to the pincer grip and right into adult hood to being an artist, a surgeon, a seamstress, musicians, not to miss writing, or even just dexterous keyboard skills, all of it use fine muscles.

It begins in childhood and expands and enhances with each practice opportunity. It is believed that it takes 10,000 repetitions to bring about the reflex response to perfection at the first go!!!

Hear it from our expert…………
Kids n kolams

I have often thought about the value of music practice in this context.Fine motor skills are those used to make small, coordinated movements with the hands and fingers and require the cooperation of the muscular, skeletal, and neurological systems. You can help adults essentially rewire the brain; the more the affected areas are worked, the faster the brain relearns movements.

That is as far as assimilating the skills as a reflex movement—but think of the flexibility incorporated with complexity, creativity, spontaneity. As far culture is concerned it begets the question what is knowledge?

To any aspect there is an origin, an experiential quotient, a continuity, a collective response and a possible creative advancement. Culture becomes a recoding statement, as long as the baton is handed over with due knowledge incorporated. Otherwise it becomes a ritual and lands up as blind faith. The due diligence and the due regard for all that went before our existence in this space called the earth as humans. Culture has an immensity that has not received the due place in history that it deserves and a theory of knowledge baseline.

Chettinad Athangudi floor tiles Kolams, And temple architecture Is there a connection in the geometry and designs that are common?

Icannot even say that I am a novice on temple architecture or Athangudi tile designs. When you consider the place aesthetics had in the centuries gone by you see a flow of thought that accompanies all of this. Temple architecture is such a comprehensive depiction that I can only stand gaping open mouthed at the lifetimes it would take for me to get the immensity of knowledge that is upholds.

I cannot even say that I am a novice on temple architecture or Athangudi tile designs. When you consider the place aesthetics had in the centuries gone by you see a flow of thought that accompanies all of this. Temple architecture is such a comprehensive depiction that I can only stand gaping open mouthed at the lifetimes it would take for me to get the immensity of knowledge that is upholds.

Athangudi tiles are a distinction in itself and a remarkable example of tessellation, math/geometry concept.

Hear it from our expert…………
Temple Art and Tiles and Kolams

Patterns are important because they offer visual clues to an underlying order. If you can unlock a pattern, then you have the ability to alter or shape it in order to achieve some effect. Patterns can also be used as a template that will enable one to quickly analyze a situation and understand how it works.

Children love making logical connections and discovering links, making predictions, expressing reasoning and all these are so important in day to day life!!!!!

Understanding patterns and relationships also means understanding rhythm and repetition as well as ordering from shortest to longest, smallest to largest, sorting, and categorizing. Explores spatial skills and geometry, critical thinking skills and a format of expression.

Hear it from our expert…………
Tiles and kolams

Why is pattern awareness important?
Spotting underlying patterns is important for identifying many different kinds of mathematical relationships. It underpins memorization of the counting sequence and understanding number operations, for instance recognizing that if you add numbers in a different order their total stays the same.

Pattern awareness has been described as early algebraic thinking, which involves:
Drawing a kolam on the floor as a daily practice is considered to be one of the most important exercises for ladies as it ensures a lot of sitting, standing, correct bending at the waist, moving the hands across the body mid line thereby enabling the right brain, left brain interaction, as the hand focuses on the pattern.

A perfect exercise for practicing ‘mindfulness’ I would think. Using a cow dung water sprinkle has its advantages—it is earth friendly, it also has an insulating property by which the warmth of the earth is restricted, all this at a time when the air is ozone/oxygen rich!! Could we have a better arena to exercise? The early morning invites us to the many patterns in nature.

Hear it from our expert…………
Happy state

Natural patterns include symmetries, trees, spirals,meanders, waves, foams, tessellations, cracks and stripes. Patterns are an important aspect of nature because they encompass a web of interrelationships.

To wind all this to a spiral we need to incorporate some ways of life that give us an expansion of the mind and connect us to the larger canvas of the universe as an understanding and not as a sterile ritual.

If homes are unable to do so, schools need to spare time for all these experiences and not dwell on academic intake alone.

A few research papers that might interest some:

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