The purpose of Rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Design-depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions, folklore and practices that are unique to each area. It is traditionally done by women, but over the years modern additions have been adapted. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, celebrations of marriages and other similar milestones and gatherings. wikimedia commons
'Rangoli' is a Sanskrit word and it means a creative expression of art through the use of color. The word Rangoli is a combination of two words "rang" (color) + "aavalli" (row), which means row of colors.
Basically, Rangoli is the art of drawing images and motifs on the floor and walls of homes using different color powders.
Mostly people draw Rangoli on special occasions but Diwali is one such festival, when most of the Indian household draw a Rangoli to welcome Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth)
Rangoli is a traditional decorative folk art from India. These are decorative designs made on floors of living rooms and courtyards during Hindu festivals and are meant as sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities. The ancient symbols have been passed on through the ages, from each generation to the next, thus keeping both the art form and the tradition alive. www.sqidoo.com
Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, flower and petal shapes (appropriate for the given celebrations), but they can also become very elaborate designs crafted by numerous people. The base material is usually dry or wet granulated rice or dry flour, to which Sindoor (vermilion), Haldi (turmeric) and other natural colors can be added. Chemical colors are a modern variation. Other materials include colored sand and even flowers and petals, as in the case of Flower Rangolis.
South Indian rangoli usually based on geometric shapes while at the north of the auspicious sign. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangoli
Unlike closing mechanisms used in other regions of the world - latches and handles usually - doors here are usually fastened with crossbars, always giving me the feeling that I'm about to enter a palace through a portal.
As the crossbars are one-sided, you cannot open the door once it's closed from the other side. Usually there are crossbars on both sides, so once you're in your flat, leaving the other side's crossbar open, you can be easily locked in from outside... that's why one has to always lock the padlock into the latch's ring before getting in and closing the door.
This results in a hierarchy of space usage:
-door is open - equal rights: a person can obviously pass both ways (unless they're scared of the dog)
-door is closed – the person who fastened the door on one side dominates the person on the other side. Unless you trap them in, as explained above. But this is time intensive, besides being an improper way to use a door.
The reason why there are no handles and mechanisms that go through the door leaf is a simple one: wood is scarce here, so one might reuse the door for a different purpose later on.
Indians are very keen on saving resources instead of wasting them. There are switches to every socket, the waterboiler is being switched on shortly before you need warm water and switched off right after you're done, there are energy-saver lightbulbs to be used everywhere. The only waste seem to be the eternally dripping water taps, which attract significant mosquito populations to my flat, apart from sometimes annoying me with their sound...