So mehndi. Or as many know it as, henna. Mehndi is actually a plant. You grind it up and mix it with water to form this skin-staining paste that’s become really popular here in the western world. I ran with that at the business fair we did in our civics and economics class this week. At the International Festival mehndi is always a big hit at the India and Pakistan tables. But at the business fair, I made five bucks. Two of them were a donation…what, you’re okay with getting mehndi at the International Festival for free, but you don’t want to spend one fake dollor on it here?? Okay, sorry, I’m done venting. Anyways, mehndi is pretty awesome. It’s one of those things that seems to connect all of the west-asian countries, from India to Afghanistan to Egypt (which is African, not Asian). Here you can get it at Indian stores in convinient little tubes. To me, it’s relaxing. I just kind of zone out and focus on the steady flow of the mehndi out of the tube and onto my hand. Basically, you make a design with the paste, leave it on for a minimum of maybe 20 minutes (the longer you leave it on, the darker it will stain), and then crumble it off.
When I’m wearing it, it reminds me that I have roots somewhere, that I come from somewhere. Even when I get not-so positive-comments (“What, is that to attract the male…species?” Really, guy? I learned something new that day. The male species…yeah.), I always feel good about it.
One of the biggest traditions with mehndi is the bridal mehndi. All over the east, brides wear elaborate mehndi on their hands, arms, and sometimes even feet and ankles.
In some places, the Indian state of Rajastan is one of them, men where mehndi that’s just as intricate on their weddings also.
ON THAT NOTE!