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Project: «Mehndi – fashion or ancient art?» Author of the project: Vikhlyaev Boris 6th Form.

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Presentation on theme: "Project: «Mehndi – fashion or ancient art?» Author of the project: Vikhlyaev Boris 6th Form."— Presentation transcript:

1 Project: «Mehndi – fashion or ancient art?» Author of the project: Vikhlyaev Boris 6th Form

2 My name is Boris. I am twelve years old. My home town is Lipetsk. Now my parents and I live in Islamabad, Pakistan.

3 Nine months ago, my parents and I arrived in Pakistan. Everything in this country was new to me: unusual animals, plants that I had never seen before, people and their customs. One day when walking down the street I saw a group of women in national costumes. Their hands were decorated with unusual drawings. Returning home, I asked my mother what it meant. Mom did not know and advised me to ask our local friend. Our friend is not very fluent in English. But I managed to explain to him what I was interested. When he realized, he laughed and said it was mehndi. He could not explain more. Moreover I found out that some of my friends were already familiar with mehndi, even decorated their hands when travelling to India. In reply to my question, why this is necessary, they said that in the countries of the Arab world there was such a tradition and it was fashionable. I decided to find out more details about it from online sources. Thus the idea of writing this project was born.


5 Henna is the Persian name for a shrub known as Lawsonia Enermis. Henna is native to Asia and the Mediterranean coast of Africa and now thrives in warmer climates all over the world. It has small, four- petaled flowers ranging from yellow to pink and its leaves produce a red dye. Twice a year the leaves are harvested, dried, and ground into a fine powder. This powder is used to dye hair red and for the ancient eastern art of mehndi. Henna contains hennotannic acid, a dye that bonds with the collagen in skin cells and keratin of fingernails and hair, leaving behind a red coloring.

6 The henna plant is one of the oldest cosmetics ever used and is extremely safe. Natural henna, when applied to the skin rarely causes any adverse reactions. Natural henna is safe even for use on children as it contains no dangerous chemical dyes or harsh additives. There is no such thing as black henna. In order for henna to produce a black color chemicals that are unsafe for your skin have been added. Black henna should be avoided. A chemical dye known as PPD is often added to the natural henna to produce a black colour. Black henna has become very popular in certain tourist areas, particularly Venice Beach and Mexico. It can cause liver and kidney damage, as well as scarring of the skin.

7 Mehndi is the Hindi word describing the process of painting patterns on the body with henna paste and the resulting stains left on the skin. Using henna paste, intricate patterns are being applied to the skin, traditionally on the hands and feet.

8 Mehndi is thought to have been brought to India by the Mugals in 12 A.D. after it had been used for centuries in the Middle East and Africa. Some of the earliest documentation says Mehndi comes of ancient Egypt, where it was used as a dye to stain the fingers and toes prior to mummification. Only in the 20th century the beautiful pattern common in India today has come out. In 17th century India, the barber's wife was usually employed for applying henna on women. Most women from that time in India used to colour their hands and feet with Mehndi irrespective of social class or status.

9 Mehndi occupies a significant mainstay in all parts of a wedding ceremony in all Eastern wedding traditions. No wedding is complete without the decoration of the bride's hands and feet as traditionally, Mehndi designing for any Indian sub continent's bride is a must event. Traditionally brides get together with her friends and spend hours applying the henna to her skin to mark the day special. There is an interesting reason for the bride for using Mehndi that she is not likely to join in household work until the henna is gone. A blessing of mother-in-law is important to Asian brides of many cultures. Mehndi ceremony is sacredly considered as a symbol of blessing for the bride's married life. That's why the ceremony cannot move ahead unless the mother-in-law has applied the first spot of Mehndi to the bride's hand. Besides, the bridegroom's hands are also decorated in some customs and communities in Kashmir and Bangladesh evolving particular designs for men. Mehndi is also used in weddings and other special occasions that include worship and work.

10 In Pakistan mehndi is usually applied on eids, weddings and other celebrations. Mehndi is a way of celebrating so it is an important part of different events. Weddings: Applying mehndi is an important part of weddings, both for Muslims and Non- Muslims. In Pakistan there is a specially organized function called mehnid. In this function the bride and her friends get together and apply mehndi. They, sometimes also sing some songs to make the function more alive and interesting. Eids: Two Eids are celebrated by Muslims every year, Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha. In both of these occasions Muslims get together to say prayers and then celebrate. For women mehndi is an important part of Eid. They apply mehndi on the evening before eid which is sometimes called Chand raat. After fasting in the month of Ramadan, eid-ul-fitr is celebrated on the first of Shawal.

11 There are several methods of applying henna. Some people use pointed things and apply henna by dipping it in the paste. Some people use henna tubes but the most popular and best method of applying mehndi is by using henna cones. Henna cones are easier and convenient to use and they are also less messy so they are preferred most of the times. Henna/Mehndi cones are easily available in the market but it is less expensive and much easier to make them at home.

12 Pakistani Mehndi is the most detailed and intricate Indian Mehndi gives the illusion of gloves made up of lines, paisley patterns and teadrops Arabic Mehndi includes Arabic leaves, vines and beautiful flowers

13 Nowadays Mehndi has broken free of the traditional wedding and is being applied for different occasions like worldwide Valentine's Day bash, celebration of New Year and in other joyful occasions. In modern popular culture, mehndi has enjoyed a renewal. Western musicians and Hollywood stars have adopted and altered the tradition so that mehndi as a temporary, pain-free body ornamentation alternative to tattooing is now the hottest new trend among women and men. As the trend grows in popularity, the list of personalities that have been seen sporting mehndi patterns rises, too. Actress Demi Moore was among the first celebrities to be seen wearing mehndi. From Madonna and Naomi Campbell to Drew Barrymore the list of famous names smitten with mehndi magic is still increasing.

14 Having learnt everything about this unusual tradition, it came into my mind to follow the well-known English saying: When in Rome do as the Romans do. New Year seemed to be a good reason for it. I shared my acquirement with my mother and girlfriends. That is what resulted from it:

15 Outside Asia and Africa Mehndi is fashion. Sometimes foreigners who come to these countries want to join the local culture. However, natives take this tradition most seriously. Decorating their bodies on the occasion of holidays is, of course, an ancient art for them.

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