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Hindu Wedding Adventure- Part III (Henna)

December 18, 2013

Once I started telling people that I was going to be a bridesmaid in a Hindu wedding celebration, the one common thing EVERYONE asked about or commented on was henna.

Pinkster's palms with her bridal henna

Pinkster’s palms with her bridal henna

I learned a lot about a lot of new things through this experience… including a lot about henna. For example, henna is actually a plant. It is also the dye that is created from the plant. It is this dye that is used in the body art of what everyone calls henna. The use of henna in body art goes back thousands of years and is a really cool part of the development of human culture.

Apparently, bridal henna is popular in a number of cultures throughout Asia, it is very intricate, and indicates blessings or good luck. Or, so I am told. I’m clearly not the expert on this, but the person sitting there in awe of it all and trying to absorb everything. I actually missed the henna party for this wedding… they did it on Thursday and I didn’t get there until Friday. Pinkster, her mom, Aunt and cousins all had it done and it looked so cool. Pinkster’s was done all over her feet and up past her ankles, as well on her hands and palms all the way up to her elbows. Her henna alone took six hours. SIX HOURS. It looked amazing, it was a work of art, but I don’t think I could sit still and not fidget for that long. It is a dye, so the ink stays on for awhile and fades after a few weeks… so it is probably a good thing I didn’t have it done otherwise I would have had to tell the wedding story at one meeting after another for weeks on end.

Bridal henna on hands, and you can see it going up to her elbows.

Bridal henna on hands, and you can see it going up to her elbows.

As with many things in this culture, lots of images are symbolic and represent something or another. Also, somewhere in this work of art are Pinkster and JD’s names hidden in the work.

henna on the feet

henna on the feet

Ok, I know I’m taking my time with these wedding recaps. This was in the fall and it is almost Christmas! But I’ve got lots more to come still! Check back soon!

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