Friday, March 10, 2006

Illustration Friday - Tattoo

This is a detail of a larger composition of different henna tattoo designs I sketched. Ink.

When my daughter was four, she was lucky enough to be invited to her daycare worker Saima's, Mehndi ceremony. Not being from the same culture, it was such a wonderful experience for both of us (I got to chapperone). I was in Toronto a few weeks prior to the day so I stopped at a clothing store in "Little India" and asked for a salesperson's help in finding something appropriate for my daughter to wear. I asked several times if her wearing such clothes would be OK but was assured that I was honouring her careworker's special day. I was informed that for a Mehndi the traditional colours were green, brown, and orange all colours referring to the henna paste in its different stages. The henna leaves are green when mashed and made into it's paste, the tattoo is brown when the paste falls off and fades into a vibrant orange with time. I ended up choosing a cream Ghagara with a cream top, a dark green Shalwaar and cream Odhni (hopefully I got all of those names right). She looked so cute in the outfit, I let her wear her ballet slippers with the clothes and we brushed her hair til it shone and she wore it down. Saima was delighted that Lina wore a traditional dress, I was relieved that I didn't make a faux pass. Saima's mother gave all the ladies, girls included, bangles as a gift and Lina delighted in the fact that her entire outfit jingled and shimmered all night. Uma, Saima's older sister had told Lina she would give her a henna tattoo that night. Lina loved watching all of the different customs, and so did I. I took many pictures. Lina did indeed get her tattoo, a pretty flower on the palm of her hand and when we left she was so tired she refused to let me put her arms through her coat because Uma had told her that the longer she left the paste on the darker the tattoo and longer it would last, so she refused to risk smudging it. She went to sleep that night curled up around her hand so that it wouldn't get smudged. In the morning I had to argue with her about letting the dried paste fall off. She had thought it was the tattoo, it took a bit of convincing to let her see that it was the stain underneath that was the tattoo. Her mother-in-law would be so pleased, her tattoo was very dark and lasted at least three weeks, amazing kid.

Note: "many people especially brides believe that the darker the mehndi stains her hands the more the groom's mother will love her. " Posted by Picasa

4 Comments:

Blogger neilornstein said...

Hi Ria:
Good to hear from you. Nice pic and nice post. I was looking at the crowcard that you did for my crowswap the other day and wondering how you were getting along. Hope all is well.
Regards, N

10:06 AM  
Blogger Saul Iscariot said...

That's a wonderful story, a close friend is a Hindu, and I have seen many of his customs which at first seem wierd, but the end result is beautiful. Post some pics of the wedding.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Giles said...

Nice design.

http://www.choble.com

5:25 PM  
Blogger The Unknown said...

Looks great! Henna tattoos are the way to go!
love

1:24 PM  

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