I have just returned home from a wedding in Toronto. Actually it is the second wedding for the same couple. My nephew married a young lady from an Indian family. Since many members from each family could not travel, there were two weddings. The Toronto wedding was a traditional Hindu wedding. That included a henna painting party (mendhi). The painting of the hands and feet are for the bride and the women guests. The woman who did the painting was very quick. She painted this in just over 5 minutes. She painted the hands of at least two dozen women and the little girls. The henna paste is made of henna, eucalyptus oil, and tea water. The final image is a little paler than it appears here as this mixture is rubbed off after it has set for a few hours. It’s darker if left over night. The resulting stain will last about two weeks. I did some portraits of some of the children at the party and will post them later in the week.

This was the most fun I have had in some time. There were three days of partying. The mendhi party lasted at least 8 hours. We arrived at 2pm and left at 10pm and the party was still going. There was music and singing and everyone was called up to dance in celebration.  The hosts were welcoming and gratious and made us feel right at home. What a great experience!

July 13, 2010