Biden-Harris administration kick-off ceremony features Indian “Kolam” designs

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Kolam is an Indian art form of geometric patterns, considered as a sign of welcome. (Image Source: Twitter/Indiaspora)

Thousands from the United States and India sketched for “Inauguration Kolam 2021” at the virtual inauguration committee’s ceremony to mark Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s Indian roots.

Kolam, a traditional South Indian art form of geometrical shapes and patterns, featured as a part of the virtual kick-off ceremony of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Thousands of kolam tiles were made and spread at the US Capitol on Saturday to reflect the cultural heritage of America’s first Vice President-elect of African and Indian parentage, and in the multicultural spirit of “presidency for all.” 

Harris has her roots in the state of Tamil Nadu, where kolams are drawn on the floor to invite health and prosperity.  

Over 1,800 people from across the United States and even from India participated in the online initiative to create kolam designs to celebrate the event. Inauguration Kolam 2021 was the part of the official Presidential Inauguration Committee kick-off event. The Presidential Inauguration Committee organized the virtual event named “An Inauguration Welcome Even Celebrating America’s Changemaker.”

Award-winning multimedia and multidisciplinary artist Shanthi Chandrasekar from Maryland took part in the initiative and said: “Many believe Kolams symbolize positive energy and new beginnings. 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.”

Indiaspora Forum tweeted: “Some beauty after the chaos: in front of the U.S. Capitol Thursday, thousands of kolam tiles are being made to welcome @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris later this month,” adding that “many believe kolams can help heal divides and welcome what’s next.”

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