The charger opening ceremonies in India are simply amazing, and the contrast between Scandinavian simplicity and Indian intricacy is well illustrated in the decorations adorning the chargers as the station opens. To those unfamiliar with the symbolism and significance of the decorations, Fortum's Sushmita Anand gives some insight into the charging station decorations!
Why chargers are decorated?
India has a long tradition of decorating with flowers for inaugurations, celebrations and festivals. In the performance of a puja/ celebration we engage all the five senses in addition to the mind and the body. The offerings are meant to declare one’s allegiance to God/ festivity and establish a direct relationship with the ceremony on a personal level. There is a symbolic significance of a few important offerings which are made during a ceremony. Collectively, they represent the objects of the five senses. “Torana” meaning gateway in Sanskrit, is a garland-like decorative, made out of mango-tree leaves and marigold flowers. It is used to adorn the doors of homes in all major Hindu festivals and auspicious occasions--be it the puja of a deity or even wedding/ inauguration functions.
Flowers have fragrance, colour, beauty and tenderness. They symbolise selflessness, self-sacrifice, detachment, surrender, faith and positive emotions. By decorating flowers in festivals/ celebrations, individual declares the purity and sincerity and the tenderness of ones feelings, and earns his reciprocal love, acceptance. Flowers also represent whatever that blossoms in you, be it good or evil, intelligence or delusion, and knowledge or ignorance. By decorating them in Puja (prayers) or celebrations one cleanses oneself.
Do certain flowers have symbolism?
Yes we broadly use Marigold flower and Mango leaves for decoration.
Marigold Flower: Spiritual significance - The common name used for marigold flower is genda across India, and is also called 'herd of the sun'. Even when there are many beautiful and fragrant-smelling flowers like roses and lilacs, it's the vibrant sunshine hue of marigold that is considered very auspicious, and holds spiritual significance.Marigold (sthulapushpa in Sanskirit) has a stout stalk, which symbolises the trust in the divine. Also, its saffron colour is known to be the symbol of surrendering to god. Its distinct fragrance is known to ward-off stress and negative thoughts.
Medicinal properties - Marigold flower has natural anti-inflammatory properties. These ornamental flowers also act as a natural insect-repellent, as its fragrance keeps mosquitoes and bugs away. One of the well-researched usages of these flowers is to help treat ear infections, thanks to of its natural antiseptic nature.
Mango Leaves: Spiritual significance - Mango-tree leaves are placed on the water pot (kalask) before rituals to complete a Hindu ceremony called Purnakumba. The leaves symbolise the limbs of the god, along with a single coconut that represents the head.
Mango leaves are also said to signify goddess Lakshmi, and known to keep out negative energy.
Medicinal properties - Apart from being loaded with antibacterial and antiseptic properties, mango leaves are used as Toranas or Bandhanvaar during large religious gatherings and festivities, because of their unique ability to absorb excess carbon dioxide.
So, you have a cool story to tell your siblings and relatives while you hang the 'Torana' on the door today and show-off your knowledge!
How long does it take to create all those flower decorations?
It usually takes around 2.5 hours to 3 hours approximately
How long are they left for?
Usually they are left till the time they start to dry off, which usually takes 3-4 days.