Mehndi traditional body painting with henna in India and Pakistan and some other eastern countries. Traditional designs with henna on the palms represent the sun a symbol of mind. Today mehndi are created on special occasions like weddings or major religious holidays, but often just for decoration. Once again I realize that Indian women know how to make themselves beautiful though sometimes cannot set the limits. I also got some little mehndi on my back.
Henna paste for mehndi is available at any street provision store. One cone costs 10 rupees. Each of them is blocked with a little nail to avoid paste leaking.
Today one girl from AIESEC visited me, she has a beautiful name Vartika. She came for another reason but then I asked her where I can find a woman who will draw henna pattern on my back. I needed a woman only since men here although know how to paint nice mehndi most probably will be too shy to do it on a naked strangers back because its India, yeah.
And then Vartika said I can do it for you. Well, great, here we go!
By the way Vartika lived in Tanzania for two years and knows how to speak swahili. She even taught me how to say Hello and its something a bit more complicated than just jumbo, but I already forgot due to my short memory.
Sometimes mehndi pattern is decorated with crystals or done with multicolor pastes but I prefer a plain henna pattern without anything because mehndi is already very self-sufficient and beautiful and additional elements will just make it more bulky. Vartika at work.
After applying henna you will need to let it dry for several hours and put some lemon-sugar syrup to make henna design more durable and vivid.
Mostly mehndi is made for bride and groom and it is a very important pre-wedding ritual. The painting for wedding is very intricate and sometimes hides the names of the future husband and wife. Wedding mehndi is created on legs and hands. And I got this time for one hand only.
The bride has her hands covered with pattern from both sides. Inner side is for the husband and outer is for parents and siblings. Since Im not getting married and got just one side pattern Vartika put two tiny dots on the other side of the hand for my parents and sister )
And this is what Vartika created on my back. For sure its a state of art!
Flowers, birds and curles everything is there.
And this is an extremely tender photo against German flag ))
This mendi I drew for Asta a couple of days back. It was my first try and I would say its not that bad.
The paste layer came off and this is how the pattern itself looks. It got darker with time, but if it doesnt just apply some strong black tea on it or eucalyptus oil and it will stay longer and get darker.
Thanks to Vartika and beautiful Indian culture, now the male part of our apartment can no longer ignore me:)
PS. Oops, I showed my mom the painting by Skype, and she lost her power of speech and didnt understand its a temporary thing. No matter how hard I tried to convince her that its not a permanent tattoo she was still not very happy. Well, this is how some moms are :)