When in India: Mendhi!

In 2003, I set off on a 4 month independent backpacking tour of India. My goals for this trip were to explore, learn, see, eat and experience.

One fateful day in Mumbai, I met who I would call my “Indian Mother”, aka Hira.

Hira is a business manager and I met her when I went to get a notary for some paper work I had to send back to the US. To make a long story short, we got to talking and she invited me to a traditional Indian wedding. Who was I to decline?

The night before the wedding, Hira invited me to stay at her home and have the ceremonial art form known as Mendhi done at her place. Traditionally, Mendhi is painted on to hands and feet using Henna, a dye in the form of paste made from a plant found in India and other sub-tropical areas. Mendhi is not exclusive to India however, and is done in other parts of the world such as other parts of Asia and Africa.

The Elaborate designs were painted on my hands, both my palms and the back of my hand. It took about 3 hours to complete the designs and then I had to sleep with plastic “mittens” on my hands! Not comfortable at all! Upon waking, I would scrape off the dried Henna to reveal the beautiful designs. Below are some pics of the before and after of my Mendhi.

The wedding was a great experience and I fit right in with my Mendhi!

by Lorina Pellach-Ladrillono of The Original Beadscarf and beadscarf.etsy.com