Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Henna Night

In late May I was invited to Henna Night for my Kurdish friend Gulcem. I didn't know much about this ancient tradition for the bride to be. All I knew was that it would be a gathering of women and that Henna would somehow be involved. We arrived one by one. Everyone looked so modern- and why not - we were modern! There was a huge amount of delicious food prepared and casual conversation but then in a small back room the shining red veil was brought out. It had been brought by her sister from her home in Turkey and was an important part of not only the henna night but the wedding itself.
Her sister and close Kurdish friends prepared Gulcem for the ritual, draped her in the beautiful red veil the same red lace veil she will later wear walking down the aisle at her wedding. They mixed and placed dark circles of henna on a plate. Danced and sang around her, mixing the henna into her hands and then offering henna to all of us. We opened up the palms of our hands and they made deep circles of the henna mixture in them. Later when we washed off the henna mixture there were the richly colored circles still there. Linking us to the bride and to her journey to a new home. Wishing you well dear friend!!