Tainted Wedded Fingers (Henna)

Henna, Mehndi, Inai.
Call it whatever you want but the same thing comes to mind; to stain hands/arms and feet in an artistic manner mostly for wedded couples.

This practice is common for Indian and Malay weddings although some will debate the need of henna for the latter. You see, henna was originally from the India and somehow or rather, most probably due to inter-racial marriages, intricate henna design culture seeped into Malay weddings too. I remember during my parent's wedded days (from photos of course), they only stained the tips of their fingers.

I believe henna was mentioned several times in 'Hadiths' (Islamic Literature) about hennas used  women's nails, being used for medicinal purposes etc but never mentioned specifically for a ceremony. [read detailed info here] Why suddenly it's a religious factor? There has always been a debate on the need of a henna and how it's not important and not "Islamic" but cultural while another group would say it's Sunnah. But for generations, our bloodline are so used to this practice that it's always a must to have henna on our wedding day.

As I mentioned, it's a debatable topic and by the end of the day, it boils down to the bride, groom and/or family. As for me, I am right in the middle.

Like every Malay, I grew up accustomed that henna  on wedding day is a standard practice. To me, without henna on my wedding day is like 'botak' BUT I not a fan of intricate designs. This is not a popular preference. Just click search for henna vendors and that's what mostly you will see.

I am not saying the designs are not pretty whatsoever. In fact, I am amazed on some of the detailed skills the artists have. I find them lovely but I don't want it on me. Pretty much the same opinion on tattoos.

[Saheli Henna]

It's just not my preference and some uber detailed ones seemed to look like a mess from afar. You know the ones I am talking about...

And for the simple designs out there, macam takde feeling kahwin pulak. It seemed to be too casual, Hari Raya bazzar Geylang type.

[Rosr Henna Collections]

I do not only have strong opinion on design but also the color stain. The popular preference is very dark stained shade of red; almost brown.


But not this minah. I want it reddish orange.I find such color fresh and fun. The problem is, I do not know how to achieve this color. Besides the fact body temperature holds a big factor (hotter = darker), the chemical component of each henna paste differs.

What is my ideal henna design and stain?

Just tips of the fingers and toes and a basic design on the palms. I do not want design on my the back of my hands. Here's my type of design and color. It is just so perfect, even the shade of red.
Simple yet eye catching henna.

[unknown source]

This is Jhon's favorite and I agree.

Okay, here is the budget conscious in me comes out. The cheapest quote for henna is $80 and for the kind of design I want does not seem worth $80. With that design, the artist can probably finish in 1 hour with 1 closed eye. Chicken mak dodol, you know? 

The obvious route would be DIY. Buying henna cones would cost about $30 depending how much you need and if you get your hands on a henna plant, lagi best! Plus, my mom is familiar with henna capping so it wouldn't be an issue for that extra line, use scotch tape lah.

Note to self: Bring Mak to Fort Canning to forage for henna plant. lol Shh....

I suppose the only problem is the palm design. The only artistic person I know is Jhon but tak kan the groom inai-kan the bride kan? hahahaha! buat gelak ke pe? I am okay with really simple design and I kinda like this one. Simple to make right? 6 big globs, 1 small glob and use a toothpick to join. Smart or not?

As for Jhon, he will get his 3 fingers (middle,ring and pinkie fingers) tainted just to match and have the pengantin vibe. He does not have strong opinions on this which was cool. hehe Ada ke, takde ke, no big deal. 

So yup, basically I have decided on the design and my plan as for now is DIY. Let's see if this plan holds up since we all BTB are well known to keep changing plans. haha


No comments