2133 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. Unit 5 Suwanee, GA 30024
As you might have noticed, this month’s issue of the DiG focuses on arts & culture in and around Gwinnett. When asked to take on “Never Have I Ever”, I had a perfect idea that would combine both culture and arts–meaning the best of both worlds!
Henna, also known as Mehndi, is a paste that is made from a powder derived from the henna plant. For over 5,000 years, henna has been used in the Middle East for medical and cosmetic purposes. For example, it can be used as a coagulant for open wounds or as a cooling agent to reduce headaches. Today, the most common use of henna is seen in henna tattoos which are traditionally used in celebration of special occasions like weddings. They symbolize good health and prosperity to those adorned with the ink.
The henna artist began by informing me of the various types of henna and asking me to choose between black henna or brown henna. I opted for brown henna, also known as pure henna, a more traditional style. The artist then presented me with a variety of designs, ranging from simple to intricate and I went with one right in the middle of the spectrum. I decided to place the henna on my hand, but it can be placed anywhere on the body. The artist prepped my skin by cleaning the area and removing oils before it was time to get tatted!
Effortlessly free-handing the design, the artist began to pipe henna paste onto my skin creating flowers, swirls, curves, and lines which formed a beautiful work of art. As the artist worked down my hand to my fingers, the henna paste slowly began to dry and harden. Once the tattoo was completed, I was instructed on the after care process. As the tattoo develops, it is important to avoid contact with moisture in the designated area. Throughout the next several hours, the dry henna paste slowly flaked off, revealing the vibrant and beautiful design that, with proper care, should stick around for 2 to 4 weeks!
This experience taught me about the art of henna and how it reflects the vibrant and colorful culture in the Middle East. Henna tattoos are a beautiful expression of both art and culture that transform your body into a walking masterpiece! This ‘Never Have I Ever’ has been one of my favorites, but I’ve got an even better way to take it to the next level. Gather some of your friends and throw a henna party of your own. Take matters into your own hands, and unleash your inner artist!