How are my neighbours doing today?

There is a wonderful tradition that was described to us by Sandiya of Storytrails this morning as we walked through the backstreets of Chennai, India.

Every house we passed had a chalk-like drawing on the pavement in front.  I asked Sandiya “what are these drawings?” (my new shoes are visible in most of the pictures!)

She told me “Every morning the woman of the house draws a picture.  She can draw whatever she wants.  If the family is celebrating, it will be colourful and large.  If the family is mourning it will be small, or maybe even non-existant.  Each morning she expresses herself and the mood of the house.”

I thought “what a wonderful way for a neighbourhood to know each other.  You don’t have to say ‘how are you?’ it is written on the street as you pass each house”

2 responses to “How are my neighbours doing today?”

  1. I just shared this story with a Barcelona-based artist I recently met who began drawing with the burnt coal from BBQ´s when she lived in Argentina in order to communicate with people because she had not learned Spanish at the time.

    The first word that popped into her head was “facebook”.

    She continued saying that that is facebook for that community. Facebook would be a lot better if people shared their emotions in pictures instead of complaining all the time. Well, I guess that is Instagram. Listening to people complain sucks, but drawing your feeling is a great way to complain and eases the pain a lot more than an annoying facebook post. Complaining through art is the only way to complain that is not annoying. I want to move there.

    It´s funny how differently people think, but at the same time are the so similiar.

  2. Wow :-), Its really great. Being an Indian I didn’t know about it.

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