India's flowers and garlands

India's flowers and garlands

Each region has its peculiar craft intertwined with the culture and lifestyle of the place. Many are prone to die in a matter of time but a very few facilely and naturally sustain because of its connection to some lifestyle of the natives that haven't changed over the period.





Flowers and it's celebration is omnipresent in this world, for there are many varieties and, are presented in various ways. In India, it is all the way close to us for the umpteen associations to it with religion, ceremonies, and the way of life from ancient days to the recent contemporary days.





We use flower garlands for various occasions for remorseful to gleeful events. Also, we offer different flowers for different deities, for example, Arugam pul (Bermuda grass) and Erukkam poo (Milkweed flower) garland for Ganesha, a Tulsi garland for Hanuman, Lotus for Lakshmi, Seva arali (Red Oleander) for Durga, Manja Arali (Yellow Oleander) for Sai Baba, etc. We also make a garland out of Vadas (fritters) for Hanuman! Ok, let us not switch the topic to food now.





The Indian ladies love to dress up their hair with flowers any day. Especially, south Indian ladies would always love to adorn their tresses with Malli poo ( Jasmine flowers), Kangambaram (Crossandra Infundibuliformis), Shenbagam (Magnolia Champaca), Pichi poo, or Mullai poo (Arabian jasmine).

The flowers undergo mindless garland making by skillful makers. In Chennai suburban trains, you can always see a few ladies making flower garlands when they travel. This craft is easy to access to gain some additional wages. Having known to make a simple garland can fetch them a few hundred a day. But, if they manage to upgrade their skill and learn to make the more extravagant garlands, they could sustain a better living.

According to Dr. Uma Kannan, a social and cultural anthropologist and author of Madurai Malligai: Madurai and It's Jasmine, the women earn a biased profit comparing to the men industry in Madurai. Ms. Kannan says that the workers who pick and string jasmine flowers, who sell them on the streets, who do the more mundane jobs are women, but those that sell in larger quantities, cornering a lion's share of the profits, are men. However, women are finding other ways around the issue. She has even organized many workshops for upgrading the skills of the women in which most of them were slum dwellers. 

This craft is an exemplary example where the culture and the local economy have come together with it, and they are striving to be better.





Brintha, Textile Designer

This article is written by Brintha, to contact her please use the above mentioned email address.


Photos by Naveen Gowtham




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