DSC_1784One of the 100 things I wanted to do in India was getting an authentic Indian mehndi.

Mehndi, or henna as it’s called outside India, is a paste made of grinded leaves which has a fresh organic smell. The paste is often applied on skin in indicate patterns and will leave a tattoo-like effect on. But don’t get worried now my dear parents, it is not a real tattoo! After two weeks or so it had disappeared.

DSC_1782I was sitting at a small wooden stool outside, and the artist was kneeling down on the ground, securely holding my arm. She was a typical Tamil lady with beautiful dark skin, saree and lots of gold jewelry. I felt surprised at first that she was sitting so close to me – a complete stranger. But how can I go to India and expect to have some private space?

We could of course has gone to a real mehndi saloon too, but being outside added a nice feeling to it. The lady was working very fast, without any hesitation her hands moved and created birds, patterns and strokes.

DSC_1804DSC_1810When my hands were fully covered it was time to sit down and wait until the paste dried. This was the best part!

A’s family were there too, and they were all patiently waiting for me. We had a little snack time and I was hand fed by auntie with what became one of my favorite snacks: sweet peanuts. How cute isn’t it to be fed with snacks?

After 20 minutes the paint had dried and I could wash my hands. The dark-brown paint fell off and revealed what was underneath: a bright orange pattern was left on my skin.

DSC_1879In the hours to come the color slowly darkened into the brownish color you might be used to see.

DSC_1977I find mehndi very romantic. And that is not a coincidence – mehndi is usually applied to hands and feet of a bride-to-be. Indian women will also wear it for festivals, attending weddings or religious (Hindu) ceremonies.

As we actually attended a wedding soon afterwards is suited very well.

What do you think: is mehndi beautiful or do you find it strange?


7 thoughts on “Mehndi

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