Stars give mehnd i a hand
MEHNDI, or henna, has always been popular with South African brides, but actresses Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra’s viral wedding pictures have spotlighted the form of Indian body art, which looks set for a revival.
Even Bollywood legend Amithabh Bacchan got in on the action, posing for a Kalyan Jewellers photoshoot (@ kalkifashion) recently, modelled on the mehndi celebration (pictured).
The decorative art with Arabic, Indian and Pakistani variants has roots in ancient Vedic texts. It was first used for women’s palms and later applied elsewhere, and also used by men.
It is said that Haldi (staining oneself with turmeric paste) as well as mehndi (a dye made from dried leaves of the henna plant) are Vedic customs, intended to be a symbolic representation of the outer and inner sun.
Vedic customs are centred on “awakening the inner light”.
Traditional Indian designs are representations of the sun on the palm, which, in this context, is intended to represent the hands and feet.
Mehndi has a great significance in classical dance like bharatnatyam.
The pre-wedding mehndi party of various groups involves different rituals but it is often held a day or two before the actual wedding. It seems an ideal way to keep the bride relaxed – there’s little to do but wait for the dye to dry.
Overall, Chopra and Padukone seem to have captured a bit of the magic of the mehndi celebration in their weddings and the world’s attention.
The art form looks set to be right on trend.