Honouring Vice-President elect Kamala Harris' Indian heritage, the virtual inauguration kick-off ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Harris began with a celebration of Kolam, a traditional Indian art form of drawing geometric patterns on the floors as a sign of welcome.
In Tamil Nadu, women draw Kolams on the ground to invite health and prosperity into houses where they are displayed.
Pictures of thousands of Kolam tiles were woven into a video to welcome Biden and Harris in the spirit of 'Presidency for All'. More than 1,800 individuals from across the US and many from India participated in the online initiative to create thousands of Kolam designs to celebrate the historic event.
The initial idea was to have these Kolam patterns from across the country in front of the White House as a symbol of good beginning to the new administration.
The Washington DC police had earlier given permission to the organisers to display these Kolam patterns near the Capitol Hill around the inauguration venue. However, due to the unprecedented security measures that have been enforced in Washington DC following the January 6 storming of the House by rioters, the permission was cancelled.
A date for the installation after the inauguration will be set up after a go-ahead from the local security, said Sowmya Somnath who is part of the Inauguration Kolam 2021 organising team in her volunteer capacity.
Hundreds of artists, citizens and students from across the country collaborated online to combine thousands of local pieces. Students from 10 public schools in Washington DC also participated in making the art.
Biden and Harris will take the oath of office on January 20.