Housing communities have various stipulations owner’s must adhere to. On a recent trip, I asked a friend why every single house was the same color. The rules, they said, were to ensure no one painted their house a bright, or unsightly color.
Cars are not allowed on the streets, nor in the driveway, but must be parked in the garages overnight. Lawns must maintain a similar aesthetic from house to house. The list surely goes on. I felt like I was seeing black and white. The lack of differentiation disturbed me.
I am the type of person who, when I travel, the first thing that enchants me are colors. Brightly-colored murals painted on the side of buildings throughout a city make me happy art is being reimagined from the controversial graffiti to the now well-respected colors swallowing brick and cinderblock.
A place can look run-down, or it can look gentrified, but they both hold stigmas. Bringing art in to a poverty-stricken place, or to a sophisticated one, can provide light and depth at the same time. Much like the housing community, to me, looks dreary with its cookie cutter appeal, a state of squalor can be equally as depressing.
Kampung Pelangi, a small village in Indonesia, is among the latter. Once seen as a degraded slum, it has now transformed itself into an array of bright colors and unique designs. The idea came about as a growing trend seemed to surface in the country, with at least three other downs brightening up with creative murals on the walls of narrow passageways.
The Central Java community, under the direction of 54-year-old junior high principal Slamet Widodo, spent more than $22k on the whimsical makeover. Now, at least 232 homes in Kampung Pelangi have been transformed into works of art. The result? A whole new, upbeat energy pulsating through the village.
While it’s surely given the villagers living there happiness, it also brings in tourists looking to catch a glimpse of the growing rainbow village trend. With more and more visitors flocking in, the rise in tourism has already shown benefit for local businesses, who have seen improvements in souvenir and food sales.
Good for Instagram shots, and village morale, it’s nice to see how a taste of rainbow can benefit a community and travelers alike.
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