"Why don t you make some rangoli designs?" Leela suggested. Romina closed her eyes and pictured the intricate patterns and symmetrical designs she liked to draw on the sidewalk with colored chalks, or
"Why don t you make some rangoli designs?" Leela suggested. Romina closed her eyes and pictured the intricate patterns and symmetrical designs she liked to draw on the sidewalk with colored chalks, or make by arranging different-colored flower petals on the front porch. Then she opened her eyes and shook her head. "No, Leela, I can t," she said. "Rangoli is from India. And half of our family is from Mexico." Romina's class is learning about immigrants, and she must make a project that represents the culture that her family comes from for the school open house next week. But Romina has a problem: her father is from India, and her mother is from Mexico. How can she come up with one project that represents both cultures? Each member of the family tries to help Romina with her dilemma by giving her information and ideas from each culture, but it is her neighbor, Mr. Gonzales, who inspires Romina to think of the perfect project. Using Mexican papel picado papercutting techniques, she creates an Indian rangoli floor design that she can bring school. The result is a beautiful and artistic blend of traditional arts that is both Indian and Mexican just like her.
Malathi Michelle Iyengar is a first grade teacher working in a dual-language public school program in Southern California. She grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Malathi lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Ryan, and their daughter Sanjana. Jennifer Wanardi is a freelance illustrator / designer who was born and currently lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She graduated from the Illustration department of California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2006. Ever since her early days, Jennifer has always been interested in fairy tales and children s stories. Much of her artistic inspiration comes from Japanese-style comic books (manga) and animated films (anime) and other artists as well.
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