I committed to having more fun and more joy in this New Year. AND, on my wish list of things to do was to learn Henna, an ancient painting tradition done by many regions in Asia and the northern part of Africa. So, I was thrilled to see an event pop up on Facebook called, “Henna and Hummus,” and I signed up to join in the fun.
I was excited not only to learn Henna, but also to enjoy some Middle Eastern cuisine, which I love!
Anita Bohrer of Hummingbird Henna Design led the Henna portion of the evening and shared about the ancient practices and traditions. She also warned us never to use and receive black henna; it’s poisonous and toxic to our skin and bodies! Henna is made from a plant and mixed with essential oils to get the paint. It’s a natural paint that’s created and only stains your skin red. Henna should never be black!
After given some instruction, we were told to play and practice on our neighbors or ourselves. I quickly got lost in my design and spent over an hour decorating my arm. I realized how meditative it was and how I could easily get hooked into an art form like this!
I spent the evening with other women at my table, conversing about our lives, work, and the designs we were creating, all while we were covering ourselves with henna.
We were also all fortunate to receive a small henna design from our instructor as well, which she created this mandala for me.
The funny thing about Henna is that it goes on like a paint, it then needs to dry and stay on your skin for four hours, and then you peel or brush it off.
Now, I’ve talked mostly about the henna, but I also need to mention the food as well. Iman, the founder of Meet the Middle East did a great job with the spread of food. We had hummus, pita, dolmas (grape leaves), spanakopita, olives, and baklava!
It was a delicious night of learning and mingling and I was excited to walk away with my tubes of paint and ready to try it out on others. So… first thing in the morning, I took my son’s hands and drew a few designs on him as well. He loved his “tattoos” as much as I loved drawing them.
When and where can you incorporate this ritual and tradition? Getting married soon, having a baby, or simply honoring a milestone in your life? Try it out, you’ll love it.
The “Henna and Hummus” event was created by the non-profit, Meet the Middle East, an organization that brings awareness to the Middle East, as well as plans travel trips and tours throughout the region. Learn more about what they are doing here. Be sure to check out their upcoming trips and local calligraphy and cooking classes.