Aperture.in               Expression.in Exchanging Indian Culture



Mehendi (also known as Henna Tattooing), is an art of painting bodies that has existed for centuries. The henna used for Mehendi comes from a bush called Lawsonia Inermis which is part of the loose strife family and is grown in the Sudan, Egypt, India, most of the North African counties, The Middle East and other hot and dry places.

Mehendi is not the huge commitment that tattooing is because of its temporary nature as its stain is not longlasting. Henna also allows you to play around with designs until you find one that you are comfortable with and then you can get it permanently etched into your skin if you want to. Some people like permanency while others are much more comfortable with temporary forms of body art. Regardless of how you use henna to decorate your body ; the main idea is to have fun.

In India, Mehendi is used at celebrations like weddings and other special occasions which are traditionally associated with transcendence and transformation. It is used for worship and work but not for the sake of vanity. It is traditional for the bride to get together with her friends and have them spend hours applying the henna to her skin and give her marriage advice in tandem. The patterns used for weddings are much more intricate and time consuming (than the everyday wear) and therefore the bride's friends have lots of time to give her advice on erotic activities for her wedding night, sexual pointers and tips during the hours that it can take to complete the design. The bride's henna must be more beautiful and intricate than anyone else's of course since it is, after all, her special day. Another interesting fact is that the bride has good reason to look after her henna for she is not expected to partake in housework until the henna is gone. This means that she will not be rubbing, scrubbing or tubbing a lot unless she really loves doing work at home. 

Archana Sharma, is one of the most admired Mehendi (Henna Tattooing) artists in Italy and neighboring countries. She has painted several hundred hands and bodies of women, including celebrities.



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